News Column

Bird Flu Scare: Thousands of Poultry Slaughtered in Hong Kong

Dec. 21, 2011

Staff -- HispanicBusiness

Bird flu has forced Hong Kong authorities to cull 19,451 meat birds after the lethal H5N1 virus was detected in a dead chicken at a wholesale market, Bloomberg reported.

The infected bird was found at the Cheung Sha Wan temporary wholesale poultry market. Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department carried out the culling operation today.

A total of 19,451 birds were destroyed, including 15,569 chickens, 1,122 silky fowls, 1,950 pheasants and 810 pigeons, according to a news release. They were sent to landfill in the New Territories for disposal.

The market was disinfected this morning to prevent the virus from growing. It will be closed until Jan. 12.

The AFCD has inspected Hong Kong's 30 chicken farms but have detected no signs of the avian influenza virus. AFCD will continue to conduct testing, according to the release.

Hong Kong saw an outbreak of avian flu in November 2010, as reported in HispanicBusiness at the time:

"Several vaccines are available to inoculate against bird flu," staff writer Gary Fackler wrote, "but scientists are concerned that the virus may mutate rapidly to create a variant that is resistant to the vaccines.

"The only known treatment for those infected is oseltamivir (marketed by Roche as 'Tamiflu'), which can help minimize the spread of the virus once it enters the body."

Source: (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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