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China reports more highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreaks in poultry

Staff Writer |
China reports more highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreaks in three provinces, and South Korea continues to battle a flare-up of H5N8 activity, according to the latest notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

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Chinese health officials detailed four outbreaks in two OIE reports.

Two occurred in different locations in Inner Mongolia province in the north, one at a large layer farm that began on May 21, killing 35,526 of 406,756 susceptible poultry.

The remaining birds were culled to curb the spread of the virus.

The other outbreak began Jun 5 at a poultry farm in Inner Mongolia's Jiuyuan district, which led to the loss of 55,023 birds, including 2,056 that died from the disease.

Officials also reported outbreaks that began in March in two provinces in southern China, including a positive sample from a poultry farm in Guangxi province and a positive sample from a livestock market in Fujian province.

The OIE report didn't include details about the number of susceptible birds or populations culled.

Officials detected the highly pathogenic form of H7N9 for the first time in poultry in February, in birds in Guangdong province's live-poultry markets.

Since then, the virus has sparked outbreaks at poultry farms in several provinces, including some in northern China.

In a related development, China recently announced that it will begin testing the first vaccine against H7N9 in early July, China Daily reported today.

The vaccine, developed by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, will be given to chickens, ducks, and geese in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

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