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Avian influenza H5N1 detected in the feces of migratory birds. TCAPO urges not to feed or touch wild birds.

Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TCAPO) received a notification on January 1st, 2022 that highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1 subtype) virus was detected in the feces of migratory birds collected in Guandu Nature Park (GNP). Personnel was sent to the detection site and the surrounding area as well to carry out the disinfection work and strengthen the monitoring of poultry farms within 5 kilometers of the sampling site for at least 3 months.

TCAPO added that in 2021 they had monitored Taipei urban areas where birds frequently gather around for avian influenza epidemic. 3,000 samples were collected then and none was found infected. There is no sign of poultry farms were found infected in Taipei City.

Taiwan is in the midway and is a resting spot for migratory birds in winter. Neighboring countries such as Korea and Japan got serious avian influenza epidemic in 2021. The former had 1,770,000 poultry culled, and the latter 600,000. The H5N1 sample collected from the feces of migratory duck in GNP in December 24, 2021 was close to the subtype found in Korea and Japan in 2021. TCAPO took prompt action to collect samples and do the needed disinfection work at the surrounding areas. In addition, they instructed the GNP staffs to protect themselves with preventive measures. Also for the seven farmers of poultry nearby, 4 in Taipei City and 3 in New Taipei City, TCAPO had scheduled to visit them and collect feces samples continuously within three months till the seasonal migration ended.

TCAPO mentions that Avian influenza in Taiwan is mainly spread by migratory birds or wild birds. Poultry farmers have to be very careful about it and follow up the ‘H5/H7 subtype Avian Influenza Prevention and Treatment Measures’ to prevent an outbreak of epidemic. TCAPO have been providing those poultry farmers with disinfectants annually and checking their prevention measures. TCAPO reminds that if citizens touch wild bird feces, to wash hands well is enough for protection. For those avian to human cases reported recently, they are mainly caused by intimate contact with infected poultry. Citizens need not worry too much about being infected by Avian flu but should keep away from feeding or touching wild birds and keep good hygiene is a must. Please check the "INSPECTED AND PASSED" symbol before purchasing any poultry products and cook all the products well will protect against avian influenza.