Taipei--Avian influenza has been rampant in Taiwan since the beginning of the year, with three more poultry farms in Yunlin County confirmed to be infected, taking the toll to 13 farms so far, according to data released Tuesday by the Council of Agriculture (COA).
The three farms, raising turkeys and chickens in closed enclosures, were confirmed between Feb. 3 and Feb. 5 to have been infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N2 virus, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the COA said.
A cull was carried out at the farms Feb. 4-6, the bureau added, noting that a total of 31,817 birds were killed in an effort to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
So far this year, 13 poultry farms -- one located in Yilan County and the other 12 in Yunlin County -- have been confirmed to have been hit by HPAI viruses, which have been found to be H5N2 and H5N8.
A total of 127,792 birds have been culled because of the infection, the data shows.
The scale of the epidemic is similar to that of the same period of last year, the bureau said.
However, it noted that the avian flu outbreaks do not include a dead goose in Hualien County that was infected with the HPAI H5N6 virus.
Reported as the first H5N6 infection case in Taiwan, the bureau has been trying to locate exactly where the goose was infected.
H5N6 has put the authorities on high alert due to its high contagion and pathogenicity. Since October 2016, the new A-type influenza has attacked 340 poultry farms in South Korea, leading to nearly 33 million birds being culled, the bureau said.
In Japan, it went on, 201 wild birds were detected to have been infected with H5N6 over the past three months, and the virus further attacked 10 poultry farms there, causing nearly 1.4 million birds to be culled.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel