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Avian Influenza: seriours concern for the animal epidemiological situation in Thailand

Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in birds have been recently reported to the OIE by the Republic of Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The occurrence of several human cases caused by Avian Influenza has already been confirmed in Vietnam. Most recently Taipei China declared two outbreaks of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Changhwa and Chiayi Prefectures.

The OIE has investigated ongoing rumours about the occurrence of high mortality in birds in Thailand. The official information obtained from the Delegate of Thailand to the OIE on 18 December indicated that the outbreaks observed in chickens were caused by a mixed infection of fowl cholera (Pasteurella multocida type A), and acute pasteurellosis (Pasteurella hemolitica) in the Nong Bua district, Nakhon Sawan Province.

Today, the Thai Public Health Ministry confirmed the occurrence of human cases in Thailand. In the light of these confirmations, it is legitimate to conclude that avian influenza virus could be circulating among avian species. In addition, the OIE was informed that the Delegate of Thailand will soon provide updated information on the animal epidemiological situation.

The OIE recommends to increase surveillance and active search of the disease in birds in Thailand and offers its expertise, through its network of Specialised Reference Laboratories to assist in laboratory diagnosis of the collected samples.