Taiwan raises bird flu alert

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Bird Flu

Taiwan raised its bird flu alert on Monday after the highly pathogenic virus strain killed over 3,000 birds at a turkey farm in the west of the country, the government said.

Taiwan recently confirmed that the H5N6 avian flu virus had been discovered in a dead gosling found on the roadside in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan on Feb. 2.

On Sunday it was confirmed to have been behind the mass deaths on Thursday of the birds at the farm in Tainan County, the first time it had been found on a farm on the island.

Government spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said Premier Lin Chuan would chair the first emergency response meeting on Monday.

Taiwan’s Centres for Disease Control urged residents who might have been exposed to infected birds to monitor themselves for any symptoms consistent with influenza.

However the virus, which has also been found on farms in South Korea and Japan since late 2016, is not as easily transmitted to humans as some other strains.

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