Hong Kong says another bird found has avian flu (AFP)
26 jan 2007
Source: Yahoo News
HONG KONG (AFP) - A dead falcon found in Hong Kong was infected with the milder H5 form of bird flu, according to initial test results.
If confirmed, the bird will be the sixth discovered with the virus this month in the southern Chinese territory, which is already on high alert for the deadly disease.
Further tests will now be carried out on the peregrine falcon, which died soon after being found in Tsuen Wan on Monday.
The five other birds tested positive for the more dangerous H5N1 strain.
An agriculture department spokesman reiterated calls for the public to remain vigilant about the dangers posed by avian flu.
"They (the public) should avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and wash their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," he said.
Authorities have stepped up checks at the border with China, where flu-infected birds were smuggled in last year, sparking the first outbreak of H5N1 among local birds in years.
Hong Kong was the scene of the world’s first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died of a then unknown mutation of the avian flu virus. Millions of poultry were culled.
The flu’s H5N1 strain is potentially deadly to humans. has killed more than 160 people worldwide since late 2003 and there are fears it could mutate and trigger a deadly human flu pandemic.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said today (January 29) that the Peregrine Falcon and House Crow found earlier were confirmed to be H5N1 positive after a series of laboratory tests.
The Peregrine Falcon was collected by department staff on Chai Wan Kok Street, Tsuen Wan, on January 22 and the carcass of the House Crow was found at Yee Kok Court, Sham Shui Po, the same day.
A department spokesman reminded people to observe good personal hygiene.
"They should avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," he said.
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