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Chinese bulbuls fall victim to bird flu virus H5N3

Chinese bulbuls fall victim to bird flu virus H5N3

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Three Chinese bulbuls (???) were c onfirmed to have been infected with H5N3 avian flu that has hit Taiwan, becoming the latest victims of the bird flu strain that has already attacked local geese and ducks, a local animal health agency said Monday. The migratory birds were found dead on Jan. 14 in central Taiwan's Miaoli County within 1 kilometer of a slaughterhouse for fowl, according to the county's Animal Health Inspection and Quarantine Institute. The Chinese bulbuls were infected with the H5N3 subtype of the virus, which had never been seen before in Taiwan until the current outbreak erupted in recent weeks, said agency chief Chang Chun-yi (???). Updating lawmakers on the epidemic Monday, Council of Agriculture chief Chen Bao-ji (???) said 80,000 chickens have been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu strain, while another 140,000 hens have been confirmed as being infected with an H5 subtype of the virus. As of Monday, some 1.32 million chickens, geese and ducks at 274 farms in nine counties have been checked, said the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine. Geese are experiencing the highest infection and fatality rates, the bureau said, while the situation in chickens is less severe. According to the bureau, 251 farms raising 920,000 of the country's 1.77 million geese have sent samples for testing. Six farms with a combined 310,000 chickens have also submitted samples. There are more than 54 million chickens across Taiwan. Chen said that over 520,000 fowl have been culled in the wake of the outbreak, and he estimated that 1 million chickens will end up being culled. (By Yang Shu-min and Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-19 04:44 GMT+08:00