Third new bird flu virus strain detected in Taiwan

TAIWAN’S agricultural officials on Friday said Avian Influenza Virus H5N3 has been detected for the first time in Taiwan, a report said.

Officials of the Council of Agriculture said that 2,720 geese at two farms, where H5N3 were detected were also destroyed.

The H5N3 is the third new type of bird flu virus strain detected in Taiwan since the newest avian flu outbreak was first reported last Friday.

An official said that all three newly reported avian flu virus strains have been fatal to domestic poultry.

“So far, in Taiwan, 101 poultry farms in seven counties have been infected with the virus.

“The poultry cull has been carried out at 44 affected farms.

“We are sure that such new types of viruses found in Taiwan were brought by migratory birds this winter,’’ officials said.

The council’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director-General, Chang Su-San said new H5N3 is the result of a virus recombination.

“The “H5” (hemaglutinin) of the local H5N3 is 99 per cent the same as one seen in South Korea.

“The “N3” (neuraminidase) is 98 per cent similar to the H1N3 found in Thai ducks in 2011.

“The H2N3 found in Mongolian mallards in 2010, and the H5N3 found in wild ducks in southern Taiwan in 2013,’’ Su-San said. (dpa/NAN)

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