TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A duck carcass found at Bihu Park, a popular park in Taipei City's Neihu District, on March 8 was confirmed on Saturday to have tested positive for H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, according to Taiwan’s Animal Health Research Institute, Council of Agriculture (COA).
The finding was confirmed on the same day when two more poultry farms were confirmed to have been infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, bringing the total to farms affected to 87 so far this year, according to the COA.
As of Saturday, 730,316 birds have been destroyed at 87 poultry farms across the country following confirmation of avian flu outbreaks, the COA said.
Of the 87 farms, 12 were hit by the more virulent H5N6 strain which can be transmitted to humans. Those 12 farms were in Hualien, Tainan, Yunlin and Chiayi, where 41,602 birds have been culled, the COA said.
There have been no reports of humans being infected with the H5N6 virus in Taiwan.
After the confirmation of the duck in Taipei being infected with avian flue, the city activated a measure of avian flu prevention that applied to areas within the perimeter of three kilometers from where the carcass was found and monitoring of the nearest two avian farms, Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TCAPO) said.
The city’s Parks and Lights Office said it will disinfect all high-risk parks in the city and report any birds suspected of falling ill from avian flu.
The TCAPO urged the public to fully cook poultry bought at the market and not to buy poultry that bears no safety certification mark showing the poultry was slaughtered by the use of electric stunning methods. The office also urged the public not to feed wild birds or come into contact with them.