Bird-Flu Outbreak in Vaccinated Ducks Triggers Mutation Fear

An outbreak of the dreaded Bird-Flu virus is bad enough for any country, it is specially feared in China, the land of its origin.

What makes the recent outbreak of the H5N1 virus, found in the ducks in farms near Guangzhou’s Panyu district even worse, is the fact that the infected ducks had apparently been vaccinated (or at least partially vaccinated) against the H5N1 virus!

According to Guangdong Animal Epidemic Prevention Center director Yu Yedong, the 9,800 ducks that died at Sixian village had been vaccinated.

However, Yedong added that the ducks were given only the first shot of the vaccine, which is only be 65 percent effective, while a second shot would have made it 90 percent.

Even so, the outbreak in vaccinated ducks in Guangzhou, has triggered fears in Hong Kong that the Bird-Flu virus may have mutated.

Dr Ho Pak-leung, an infectious diseases expert at Hong Kong University, said there were worries the virus had mutated or the vaccine had not been effective.

Lo Wing-lok, another infectious diseases expert, called for a ban on the import of ducks from areas around Panyu.

Hong Kong Bird Watching Society chairman Cheung Ho-fai said migratory birds from Panyu are likely to carry the virus to the territory, although previous H5N1 cases in Hong Kong had been found to be unrelated to migratory birds.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it will monitor the situation and step up inspections at local poultry farms.

Hong Kong New Territories Poultry-Culture (geese and ducks) Mutual Aid Association chairman Kwok Chi-yau said the outbreak has led to a 20 to 30 percent drop in poultry sales.


Photo Credit  VOVNEWS


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