High-pathogenicity avian influenza virus H5N2 subtype was discovered in chicken at the Taipei City Poultry Wholesale Market last month and the source was traced back to a chicken farm in Yunlin County, the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said yesterday.
One hundred blood serum samples, 100 droppings samples and six whole chickens were collected at the market on April 15 for avian influenza epidemic screening and among them one chicken was found on April 23 to contain avian influenza virus H5N2 subtype, the bureau said.
The virus found in the bird was determined to be highly pathogenic by the Animal Health Research Institute yesterday, it added.
“When we were informed about the H5N2 infection on April 23, we traced the chicken to a farm in Yunlin, but all the chickens in the farm had already been slaughtered and sold,” COA director Chang Su-san (張淑賢) said. “The owner told us that the chickens showed no abnormal symptoms before they were slaughtered.”
Disinfection measures and mobility control were enforced at the chicken farm to prevent possible spread of the virus, Chang said, adding that samples were taken from eight poultry farms within 1km of the farm for testing and 42 poultry farms 1km to 3km away from the farm were inspected with no infections discovered so far.
Disinfection measures were also enforced in the market in Taipei on Sunday, the bureau said, adding that follow-up inspections would take place in the market.
The bureau said H5N2 infection is common among birds and can be detected from time to time, but so far there have been no reports of the virus causing health problems in people.