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Taiwan detects avian influenza H7N3 on a duck farm

Taiwan has detected avian influenza H7N3 on a duck farm, three years after a birdflu outbreak shattered the island's poultry export, authorities said on April 11. Health workers detected the H7N3 virus at a duck farm in Chiayi County, central Taiwan, Thursday, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said in a new release.

The bureau has barred the movement of ducks from the farm, disinfected surrounding areas and notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the bureau said. The bureau is trying to determine whether it is the low or high pathogenic virus strain of H7N3, and is trying to find out how the ducks were infected.

The bureau suspected that migratory birds brought the virus to Taiwan, but does not rule out human contact triggered the outbreak, the news release said.

However, health workers are puzzled because there has been no abnormal death of ducks on that farm recently and all the ducks look healthy. The H7N3 virus generally affects birds and poultry and rarely affects humans. In October 2008, the low pathogenic strain of H5N2 birdflu broke out on a chicken farm in Kaohsiung County in southern Taiwan, forcing the island to suspend poultry exports for three months.

Copyright Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 2011


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