China: New bird flu outbreak confirmed in Shanxi

A new bird flu outbreak has been reported in north China´s Shanxi Province, said sources with the Ministry of Agriculture here Monday.

The outbreak was identified after chickens died in poultry farms in Changzi County of Changzhi City.

Samples of the dead poultry were sent to the national bird flu laboratory and the H5N1 virus was identified in them, said the ministry.

The local government has launched an emergency response and quarantined the infected area. Experts and veterinarians have started disinfection and culling poultry in the area to prevent possible new outbreaks.

The local veterinarian department has stepped up publicity campaigns to teach residents how to protect themselves against the virus.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also sent a team of experts to Changzi and reported the case to international organizations.

China has recorded more than 30 outbreaks of bird flu since last October. The last outbreak occurred in remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early this month and the government said it was contained two days after the confirmation.

A human case of bird flu was confirmed on June 15 in south China´s Guangdong Province, bringing the country´s total human infections to 19.

China´s chief veterinary officer Jia Youling warned last week that the virus was on the rise among migratory birds this year.

A total of 1,168 migratory birds had been found dead in Qinghai and Tibet by June 1. The disease was striking more species of bird than last year, Jia said, noting the Ministry of Agriculture would target migration paths for future supervision, especially in areas with a record of infection.