Taipei--Three people in southern Taiwan's Chiayi County have been administered medication, while another 14 have been put into self-quarantine out of fear that they might have been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu virus, the county's Public Health Bureau said Wednesday.
All those involved are considered at high risk of getting the disease because they have come into contact with chickens that were confirmed on Feb. 13 to be carrying the virus, the bureau said.
Chiayi County officials said that day that they found illegally slaughtered chickens at a traditional market stall in Minsyong Township three days ago, which were found to be infected.
The three people given medication include a couple who illegally slaughtered the chicken and a seller, according to the bureau, while the 14 people under quarantine through Feb. 23 include owner of the chicken farm, other chicken slaughterers and their customers, as well as health inspection officials who also handled the chicken, it said.
Also Wednesday, another 885 chickens were culled in the county's Puzi City after they were found to have been infected, county officials said.
The outbreak of H5N6 has put authorities on high alert because it is both highly contagious and pathogenic.
Since October 2016, this new A-type influenza has attacked 340 poultry farms in South Korea, leading to nearly 33 million birds being culled, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Council of Agriculture.
In Japan, 201 wild birds have been confirmed infected with H5N6 over the past three months, and the virus has hit 10 poultry farms, resulting in nearly 1.4 million birds being culled.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel