Taiwan reports first H5N2 bird flu of 2012

PHOTO: Taiwan reports first H5N2 bird flu of 2012

TAIPEI - Taiwan has reported its first H5N2 bird flu case this year after test results confirmed that chickens at a poultry farm in Changhua County were infected with the virus.

Despite the infection, the farm has not logged unusual death rates, contrary to rumors that a large number of its chickens have died, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said.

But the farm has already been put under quarantine, and banned from transporting its chickens outside. Its eggs, however, are still allowed to be sent to the market after pasteurization, the bureau said.

The BAPHIQ started investigating the case after being alerted to the virus situation at the farm on Dec 27.

It inspected the farm daily, and twice collected samples - on Dec 30 and Jan 4 respectively. The samples tested positive of the H5N2 virus, results released yesterday showed.

But the chickens of the farm have not shown any obvious pathological symptoms, the BAPHIQ said.

The BAPHIQ said that as of Jan 6, it had completed the inspection of 115 poultry farms in the area, and no unusual deaths had been detected. It added it will continue monitoring the situation in the area.

All quarantine measures will continue to be in place until the all safety concerns are cleared, the bureau said.

According to figures from the nation's chicken farm association, the supply of eggs has remained normal in the past three months, totaling 25 million.