Livestock department on high alert as bird flu kills two people in China


BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Two people died in China after being infected with H5N6 bird flu, and three others have been hospitalised, Thailand’s Livestock Development Department director-general Sorawit Thaneeto (pic) said on Monday (Jan 17).

According to the Department of Health for Hong Kong, five people — four men and a woman — in China’s Sichuan province, Zhejiang province, and the Guangxi Autonomous Region were infected with the bird flu strain in 2021,” he said.

“Two of those people have now died and the other three are currently in hospital with severe symptoms.”

Chinese officials said in a statement that four of the five people were exposed to live domestic poultry, while authorities were looking into how the fifth patient had got infected.

“The Livestock Development Department is on high alert over the recent emergence of H5N6 avian influenza in China, although the disease has not been found in Thailand in the past 12 years,” said Sorawit.

“Officials have increased screening measures of imported poultry as well as inspection of poultry farms in border provinces. We have also sent teams to collect samples from migratory birds and areas that have a high population of birds.”

Sorawit added that as a precaution, all movement of poultry in Thailand, both dead and alive, must be approved by the provincial livestock office, while the import of poultry from countries with reports of bird flu has been temporarily suspended.

“Do not cook or distribute the meat if the animals have died from an unknown cause. Instead call the provincial livestock office or Livestock Development Department on 06-3225-6888 or via DLD 4.0 mobile application,” he said.

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