Bird Flu Alarm

2006-02-09-New suspected bird flu case in Hong Kong

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-02-09-New suspected bird flu case in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AFP) - Initial testing of a wild bird found dead in Hong Kong showed it was infected with the H5 strain of bird flu, the government said.


Further confirmatory tests are being conducted on the Japanese white-eye, discovered in a school yard in the busy Mong Kok shopping district of the southern Chinese territory.

So far, health officials have confirmed that six birds found dead in Hong Kong were infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. Experts were conducting additional tests on a chicken suspected of having the disease.

The government has said it will ban backyard poultry farming in the territory after a bird flu-infected chicken was smuggled into Hong Kong last week and given to a villager as a gift.

The chicken later died and three members of the villager's family were put in hospital isolation for tests, which subsequently proved negative.

Bird flu has killed at least 85 people since 2003 in outbreaks that have ravaged Asia and are now menacing eastern Europe.

Hong Kong's last major bird flu outbreak in 1997 killed six people, prompting the government to slaughter all the city's 1.5 million poultry. One person died here of the deadly virus in 2003.

Understanding Avian Influenza