Bird Ban Remains for Takeo Village After H5N1 Outbreak

One month after an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza, a ban on transporting poultry to or from a 5-km zone around a Takeo province village remains in place, though there is no sign of the reappearance of the virus in the area, officials said yesterday.

The prohibition was instituted for 30 days following the detection of the virus on Feb 1 in Pralaymas village, according to an Agriculture Ministry statement. An official with the ministry said yesterday that he did not know when the transport exclusion area will be lifted.

The ministry statement also calls for continued surveillance of domesticated birds within 10 km of the village, which is in Koh An­det district’s Romenh commune. Au­thorities culled some 1,600 birds in the village after samples from six ducks tested positive on Feb 1.

“We are investigating the [situation] and will allow them to raise an­imals [again] when the investigation is completed,” said Kao Phal, director of the Agriculture Minis­try’s Animal Health and Production De­partment.

Thai Ly, chief of domesticated animals for the Takeo provincial ag­riculture department, said there had been no sign of the reappearance of the virus, and that local officials are waiting for the all-clear so that breeding of birds can resume.

The recent outbreak did not lead to the infection of any humans, ac­cording to Dr Ly Sovann, deputy di­rector for communicable disease control at the Ministry of Health.

“We have collected samples, but all were negative,” he said.

A rapid-response team was de­ployed to Romenh commune to ed­ucate villagers on avian influenza and to watch for transmission to hu­mans, but the unit has already left the area, Dr Sovann said.

“We conducted surveillance for the villagers’ health for three weeks,” he said. “This is our guideline that we do everywhere we de­tect the case.”

Between January 2005 and the end of 2009, there were nine re­corded cases of Avian influenza in humans in Cambodia, according to Dr Sovann. Seven of the people in­fected with the virus died.


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