Avian flu strikes Hong Kong poultry farm

first_imgDec 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Hong Kong today said they have detected an H5 avian influenza outbreak at a poultry farm in Yuen Long, marking the country’s first farm-based outbreak since 2003.York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, said in a press release today that the H5 avian flu virus struck 60 chickens, which died yesterday. He did not say if the virus at the farm was the highly pathogenic H5N1 subtype.Malik Peiris, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said it is “highly likely” that the virus is the lethal H5N1 strain, because other strains aren’t as deadly as the one involved in the outbreak appears to be, according to a report from Reuters today. “But this has to be confirmed,” he said.Chow said in the press release that he elevated Hong Kong’s avian flu alert to serious after receiving the H5 test results. He said the agriculture department will cull 80,000 chickens within a 3-km radius of the index farm and will destroy another 10,000 chickens from the area that have been transported to a wholesale market.Hong Kong’s government has also banned the export of chickens from all of the special administrative region’s farms and has halted all poultry imports, both effective for the next 21 days.He said Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection would monitor the status of the farm’s owners and workers, none of whom have developed symptoms. Chow also said in the statement that veterinary officials have closed an aviary park near the farm and are monitoring the health of 1,500 birds that are kept in other parks in Hong Kong.The length of time since Hong Kong’s last farm outbreak is a sign that the prevention measures have worked well, he said in the statement. However, he said he was concerned about the latest outbreak, because the first chickens to die were those that had not been vaccinated.According to a Feb 5 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the H5N1 virus is common and present year-round in Hong Kong, occurring in resident and migratory birds. The report said poultry farms are constantly monitored with serologic and virologic testing. All farm chickens routinely receive an inactivated H5N2 vaccine, and each flock contains 60 unvaccinated sentinels that are monitored over the lifespan of the group.In July, Yuen Kwok-yung, who heads the University of Hong Kong’s microbiology department, warned that the poultry vaccine has lost its effectiveness over the past 7 years of use, according to previous reports. He said that the virus in Hong Kong had shifted away from the Fujian strain that the vaccine was developed for and advised officials to ban live poultry from Hong Kong markets before the vaccine becomes completely ineffective.One month earlier, animal health officials had detected the H5N1 virus in poultry feces at several market stalls, but did not determine the source of the virus.Over the past few years, Hong Kong has filed several reports of individual sick or dead wild birds that tested positive for the H5N1 virus. The recent OIE report described two egrets—one found dead and one found sick in a Hong Kong park—that tested positive for the H5N1 virus in November and December 2007.See also:Feb 5 OIE reportJul 10 CIDRAP News story “Expert warns Hong Kong’s avian flu vaccine is waning”last_img read more

I never thought I would get a double hundred in 2013: Rohit Sharma

first_imgMUMBAI: Star India opener Rohit Sharma has said he never thought he would get a double hundred during the 2013 Bengaluru ODI against Australia.It was Rohit’s first double hundred soon after he started opening the batting in the Champions Trophy. India’s current limited overs vice-captain Rohit is the only player to have scored three double centuries in ODIs. “I never thought I would score a double hundred. I just wanted to bat well. It was a nice and flat pitch,” Rohit told senior India off-spinner R. Ashwin during an Instagram Live chat. Rohit scored 209 off 158 balls, his innings laced with 12 fours and a whopping 16 sixes. India won the seventh ODI of the series by 57 runs. Rohit also revealed it was former India batsman Yuvraj Singh who told him to make the most of the opportunity as an opener and go for a big one. “I remember Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) telling me, this is a great opportunity for you. You have just started to open the batting. He told me this is a good opportunity for you to make a big score. I was getting 40s, 50s, 60s. That was a good talk we had before the game,” the 33-year old said. “When I went back inside, someone was telling me, if you would have batted for another over or so you would have broken (Virender) Sehwag’s record,” said Rohit, who went to score 264 against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in 2014 which remains the highest individual score. “The expectation in the dressing room is really high. There were three or four guys who wanted me to score 10 or 15 more runs, Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) was one of them and maybe Shikhar Dhawan too,” recalled Rohit. IANS Also Read: Saliva ban needs an alternative to keep game balanced, says Gautam Gambhirlast_img read more