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Bird flu outbreak kills 1,300 chickens

Buth Sela / Khmer Times Share:
Chickens that died from a recent bird flu outbreak are buried in Battambang province. Department of Information of Battambang

An outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) in Battambang province’s Ek Phnom district has killed around 1,300 chickens from one location, officials said.

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Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture’s veterinary office Pen Setha said that he inspected the farm in Prek Tachreng village and found 1,300 chickens that had died between January 5 and 7.

Test results released on Monday confirmed that the poultry had bird flu, Setha said.

Agriculture officials cooperated with the owner to bury the dead birds while disinfectant was sprayed across the area.

The Ministry of Agriculture called on the National Institute of Animal Health and Production to test and identify any further bird flu areas in Battambang province.

It instructed the General Department of Animal Health and Production to destroy all species of birds in the outbreak epicentre area according to veterinary technical measures, halt the buying, selling and transporting of all types of birds within a three kilometre radius of the outbreak area, investigate the source of the bird flu for 30 days and monitor bird movements within a 10 kilometre radius of the outbreak epicentre.

“Permission to raise, buy, sell and transport birds in the bird flu areas shall be determined later,” it said.

Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon said the virus was identified as the influenza virus H5N1, which is rarely transmitted to humans.

He said that officials are continuing to monitor and control the area to avoid further transmission.

General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phannara said that this outbreak occurred due to weather changes this season.

“In 2020, there were six cases of bird flu, and this case is the first one in 2021,” he said.

Phannara calls on chicken farmers to use disinfectant, maintain good hygiene and not allow people into their farms, unless absolutely necessary to avoid transmission.

H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds. Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person.

 

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