Aug 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Both the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have said in the past day that Tibet has reported its first cases of avian influenza in poultry.
Zhang Zhongjun, an FAO official in the Beijing office, said the China Agriculture Ministry informed his organization of the outbreak this morning, according to the Associated Press (AP). The OIE likewise received notification of the outbreak within the past day (see below).
OIE Director-General Bernard Vallat told Reuters it was likely the disease was highly pathogenic so probably represents H5N1 infection, although the actual report from Tibet identified the infection only as H5. The affected farm, near Tibetan capital Lhasa, reported 133 dead chickens.
More than 2,600 more birds in the area have been culled as a containment effort, say several sources. In addition, Carolyn Benigno, an FAO animal health officer in Bangkok, told Kyodo News that the infected areas have been sealed off and/or disinfected, plus a vaccination effort has begun.
Two other areas of China, the Xinjiang and Qinghai provinces, had previously reported avian flu, the latter resulting in the killing of over 6,000 migratory birds.
No human cases of avian flu have been reported in China.