Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New bird flu outbreak hits Cambodian ducks

September 05, 2006

A fresh outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed in ducks in eastern Cambodia where the virus re-emerged last month, officials said today.

Tests confirmed the deadly H5N1 virus in live and dead ducks in the Bateay district of the eastern province of Kampong Cham, where 700 birds died last week, they said. "We sent our vets to cull the rest of the live ducks after the result was confirmed on Saturday," said Yim Voeunthan, a senior agriculture official.

The virus could have spread from a nearby village where a bird flu outbreak killed nearly 2 000 ducks last month, said Ku Chanthan, a veterinarian in Kampong Cham.

In early August, the virus was also found among 1 300 ducks that died in the province of Prey Veng, 70km south-east of Phnom Penh. Authorities said that infected ducks that survived the outbreak in Prey Veng may have been smuggled to Kampong Cham, where surveillance efforts against the virus have been stepped up.

No signs of mutation as yet

"We are worried that more bird flu will be found in ducks because our survey experience showed that up to 15% of live ducks carried the virus," Yim Voeunthan said.

The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed more than 140 people worldwide, including six in Cambodia, according to the World Health Organisation.

The virus has not yet shown the ability to mutate into a form that could pass easily between humans and cause a pandemic that might kill millions of people. But experts fear it might, especially in a poor country such as Cambodia, which is recovering from 30 years of civil war, and where health surveillance systems are limited.

1 comment:

khmeng wat ott nonaa loams said...

Hope not Sihanouk ducks who are in chaotic and anarchic mode since the mother duck ran to lay its golden eggs on Sror aem Phalla after the mother hen Eng Marie kicked it on the groin the night before his sneaky departure.