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Gov't reports 1st case of poultry market H5N2 flu

The Council of Agriculture (COA) confirmed Friday a case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza that was detected last month in a wholesale poultry market in Taipei, the first to be recorded at this type of market in the country.

Previously, cases had been confined to chicken farms in Changhua County, Tainan and outlying Penghu County.

The latest case was traced to a chicken farm in Yunlin County, although it could not be confirmed how many chickens were affected with the virus because the batch of chickens in which the infected one was detected were all slaughtered and might already have been eaten, according to the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

Disinfection procedures have been performed at the Yunlin chicken farm and it will only be allowed to resume to normal operations once it has been identified as virus-free.

The bureau has begun stepping up its checks on samples of the highly pathogenic virus at poultry markets. On April 15, the Taipei wholesale poultry market took 100 serum samples, 100 stool specimens and six chicken samples for examination. One of the samples tested positive April 23 for an H5N2 subtype virus, which was confirmed Friday by the bureau as an H5N2 strain.

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