Cambodia and Taiwan tackle bird flu outbreaks

By Keith Nuthall

- Last updated on GMT

Cambodia and Taiwan claim success in fight against bird flu

Related tags Bird flu outbreak Livestock Poultry

The Cambodian and Taiwanese governments have both claimed successes in their efforts to stamp out recent bird flu outbreaks.

In a note to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr Sen Sovann, deputy secretary general of Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the current highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak – which has killed eight people in the last two months – was over: “The event is resolved. No more reports will be submitted,”​ he told the OIE.

Noting there had been no new outbreaks this month, the ministry stressed how it had stamped out the disease through destroying susceptible poultry, imposing movement controls, disinfecting infected premises, dipping and spraying. No vaccination or treatment of livestock has been permitted. The current outbreak began in January and has affected the whole country. It started in the south-west Takeo province, near the Vietnam border, where 2,304 backyard poultry chicken and ducks died of the disease and 4,743 birds at risk were destroyed. There is concern that weak border controls could have allowed infected birds to be imported from Vietnam.

The disease then spread to neighbouring Kampong Speu province, near the capital Phnom Penh, where 503 birds died or were killed. It then moved to Cham, north of the capital, with 1,144 bird casualties; coastal Kampot – 634 birds dead; and then westerly Siem Reap province – 2,359 dead birds.

In Taiwan, Dr Ping-Cheng Yang, director of Taiwan’s Animal Technology Institute, said there had been no new cases since January in an outbreak that began in November, although he did not declare it over. Taiwan has imposed quarantine measures, movement controls, screening, zoning and disinfection, and has also blocked vaccination and treatment. The Taiwan authorities reported four clusters of cases in chicken, ducks and geese, although deaths have been significantly lower than in Cambodia and the virus was a low pathogenic strain, offering limited risk to humans.

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