Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA) says it plans to eradicate avian flu viruses by stepping up monitoring and prevention measures at poultry farms with the opening of its new Research Center for Avian Influenza Control and Prevention.
According to a report from Taipei Times, the staff at the center will collect data about avian influenza and install a visualized data system for the changing conditions of the virus. Its ultimate goal will be to prevent and contain outbreaks of avian influenza.
The center has identified 22 townships and districts in Pingtung, Yunlin and Changhua counties, as well as Tainan and Kaohsiung, as high-risk areas, where it would step up monitoring of farms, he said, adding that the center would issue warnings about the disease via text messages if necessary, Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng said at the center’s inauguration ceremony.
Taiwan is one of a number of Asian countries that has been battling outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has consistently had reports of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Taiwan since January 2015. In Taiwan’s most recent case, in Yunlin County, a flock of 6,315 turkeys was infected with highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza. In this case, which was confirmed on November 1, 2,730 turkeys died, while the remaining susceptible 3,585 turkeys were destroyed and disposed of.
Other recent cases case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in Taiwan included a flock of 4,290 meat ducks in Yunlin County and a flock of 10,618 native chickens in Pingtung County.
In addition to Taiwan, the OIE has active reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Russia, South Africa and Bulgaria. The organization also has recent reports filed on low pathogenic avian influenza cases in the United States, All of the current cases in the U.S. involve commercial turkey flocks.