Jan 5, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in India's West Bengal state recently reported new H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in two more districts, according to media reports.
Officials from the affected districts said the virus was found in two villages in Darjeeling and adjacent sites in Jalpaiguri, according to a Jan 3 report from Reuters. The outbreaks involved chickens, the Times of India reported yesterday. The two districts are neighbors in the northern part of West Bengal state.
Surendra Gupta, an official with Darjeeling district, said 30 culling teams were slated to start destroying birds yesterday, and Bandana Yadav, an official from Jalpaiguri, said 10 teams from the district also set out yesterday to cull birds within the outbreak radius.
In late November the virus cropped up in India again after a 5-month lull, striking birds in Assam state, according to previous reports. In mid December, neighboring West Bengal state started reporting fresh outbreaks. An area of Bangladesh that borders both states has also reported recent H5N1 outbreaks.
Elsewhere, veterinary officials in Vietnam recently confirmed in a statement released to the Vietnam Agriculture newspaper an H5N1 outbreak in Thai Nguyen province in the northern part of the country, according to a Dec 29 report from Xinhua, China's state news service.
The outbreak struck 100 45-day-old poultry and was the province's second outbreak in 2008, the report said.
In other developments, livestock officials in South Korea reported that they detected the low-pathogenic H5N2 virus at a duck farm in North Chungchong province, in the central part of the country, according to a Jan 2 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
No bird illnesses or deaths were reported, but officials found the virus during ongoing surveillance of all duck farms that began in September, the report said. Authorities culled 6,837 birds to control the spread of the virus.
Investigators haven't determined the source of the virus. South Korea's last H5N2 outbreak occurred in October 2008 when the virus was detected at a duck farm in the city of Yesan, in South Chungchong province.
Jan 2 OIE report on South Korea's H5N2 outbreak
Dec 1, 2008, CIDRAP News story "India reports new H5N1 outbreak"