Nearly 300 chickens and ducks were culled after a new case of H5N1, or bird flu, was found in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district last week, officials said.
Seang Borin, director of the municipal agriculture department, said yesterday that 292 chickens and ducks were killed in Phnom Penh Thmey village on Saturday, where the National Institute of Animal Health and Production found an outbreak that had infected three chickens on January 9.
Mr Borin said government officials from multiple departments shut down the movement of any birds from the area for the foreseeable future.
“Health officials will check and follow up on the villagers’ health. My department will also keep following up around the area. Right now, we have cut off an area of three kilometres from exporting birds,” said Mr Borin.
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said authorities must ensure there is no sale or movement of poultry from the cordoned off area.
“On January 9, the results of tests on samples of chickens found the H5N1 virus in three chickens in Phnom Penh Thmey commune, so the joint committee and all levels of local authorities have to cooperate to take action to prevent the movement of birds from a three kilometre area,” said Mr Sakhon.
Mr Borin added that consumers should not buy meat originating from the area and also make sure any chickens they bought live were not sick, adding that vendors should notify authorities of any illnesses.
“If their chickens or ducks are sick, they must report it to officials immediately and not touch the sick birds,” he said, noting further tests would continue to be carried out before the movement ban was lifted.
In late December, H5N1 spread to Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district following an outbreak in Kampong Cham province, but it did not infect any villagers.
Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said officials intervened in time in the Phnom Penh outbreak to ensure no villagers contracted the virus.
“This is the fourth location for an outbreak of H5N1, with the others being two in Kampong Cham province and one location in Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district,” he said.
According to a report from the communicable disease control department, between 2005 and 2014, 56 people were infected by the disease, leading to 37 deaths.