04 Feb 2004 -- Bangkok – Despite massive efforts to stamp out the virulent avian influenza virus, the disease continues to spread in poultry producing areas in some Asian countries, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.
China has informed FAO that outbreaks occurred in 12 out of the country’s 31 provinces. China has asked the UN agency for emergency technical assistance. In response, an epidemiologist will arrive in Beijing soon to advise the country in its control of the outbreaks.
In Viet Nam, it is reported that bird flu has now been confirmed in 53 out of its 64 provinces. Nearly nine million chickens out of a total of 254 million have either died from the virus or have been slaughtered.
In Laos, despite cullings on 20 farms, the immediate outbreak has not been stopped.
According to the authorities in Thailand, mass cullings are ongoing in affected areas and the number of new outbreaks is decreasing.
FAO estimates the number of chickens culled at around 50 million. Countries and regions where mass cullings are ongoing include Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Pakistan, China and Taiwan province of China.
The H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos and South Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam, while Taiwan province of China and Pakistan have reported lower pathogenic strains.
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