On Monday, in Hong Kong Reports (Environmental) H5N6 At Mai Po Nature Reserve, the AFCD has announced the detection of H5N6 in bird droppings collected late last month in the Mai Po marsh.
While not the first time H5N6 has been brought into Hong Kong by Migratory birds (see here, and here, and here), this has raised concerns given the virus's recent surge into South Korea and Japan.Today the Hong Kong government announced an addition sample - collected 5 days after the first batch - has tested positive.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) was notified by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) that one more faecal dropping sample taken from Mai Po Nature Reserve (MPNR) tested positive for H5N6 avian influenza (AI) virus, a department spokesman said today (December 8).
The sample was taken at a gei wai near the Tower Bird Hide on November 30. Three samples taken from the same location on November 25 were confirmed to be H5N6 positive on Monday (December 5).
The spokesman said the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong will continue to rigorously carry out cleansing and disinfection measures, while the AFCD is closely monitoring the situation of birds at MPNR and has put up notices to remind visitors to pay attention to personal hygiene.
There are no poultry farms within 3 kilometres of MPNR. Since the beginning of winter, the AFCD has strengthened AI surveillance and closely monitors the situation of the local poultry farms and wholesale market. Poultry farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons are reminded from time to time to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented.
"People should avoid contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them. The public can call 1823 for follow-up if they come across suspicious, sick or dead birds, including the carcasses of wild birds and poultry," the spokesman said.
All relevant government departments will continue to be highly vigilant and strictly enforce preventive measures against avian influenza. Health advice is available on the AFCD website at www.afcd.gov.hk.
Ends/Thursday, December 8, 2016Issued at HKT 19:35