Highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza has been detected in Laos for the first time since March 2014.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received notification from the Laos Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on October 8 that the virus had been confirmed in a flock of chickens and ducks at a farm in Parhao, in the Laotian province of Xayabury.

In the avian influenza outbreak, 534 birds were reported as susceptible. Of those, 314 birds died and the remaining 220 birds were destroyed.

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Control measures used include movement control inside the country, screening, disinfection and disinfestation and quarantine.

The OIE stated that it will submit follow-up reports on the avian influenza situation in Laos until it is resolved.

Poultry growers in Asian countries have been on high alert for avian influenza, as in recent weeks new cases of avian influenza have been reported in Taiwan and Vietnam. Taiwan has had four new cases of H5N2 avian influenza since August 20, while two recent cases of H5N6 avian influenza have been reported in backyard poultry flocks in the Vietnamese provinces of Lai Chau and Lao Cai, which are both in the northern portion of Vietnam.