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Intensified measures called for to prevent bird flu outbreak in HK
www.chinaview.cn 2006-01-21 21:12:38

    HONG KONG, Jan. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Hong Kong scholars Saturday urged strengthened measures to prevent bird flu outbreak in face of rising risk caused by increasing human and goods movement in the coming Chinese New Year.

    The risk of an outbreak of the epidemic has increased, Kwok-Yung Yuen, head of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong, told reporters on Saturday.

    The recent discovery of the H5N1 virus in the body of a dead wild bird and the government's decision to increase live chicken imports during the Chinese New Year all contributed to the rising risk, he said.

    Yuen noted that the current strain of the H5N1 virus can survive longer in exposed environment compared to other strains of bird flu virus prevalent before.

    He therefore called on the authorities to closely follow up the development of the bird flu outbreak situation around the world and asked the public to pay attention to personal hygiene so as to cut down the risk of being affected.

    The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) confirmed Thursday that the H5N1 virus had been found in the body of a dead magpie robin in a village in the northeastern part of the city.

    The authorities, however, stressed that there was still no outbreak of bird flu Hong Kong, citing their survey of poultry farms around the territory.

    Meanwhile, the government has carried out aggressive cleaning and public education campaign to prevent the disease from enteringinto the territory.

    The authorities also maintained a decision of increasing live chicken imports from China's mainland during the Chinese New Year in late January.

    Yuen said he believed the government also stepped up surveillance and control measures with the increasing risk of an outbreak. Enditem

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