Possible Threat of Bird Flu in Taiwan’s Yunlin 01-23-2020

On January 2, 2020, The Taiwan Animal and Plant Disease center announced the culling of more than 23,000 chickens on the poultry farm in Yunlin County on New Year’s day due to avian flu breakout. According to the authorities, the culling was conducted on a farm on Dounan Township after it was confirmed. The Yunlin County, Animal, and Plant health pointed out that last year the county’s bird flu positive farms were 53 and the total number of poultry that was culled were 28.9million, which according to the industry expert suggest that the number of positive farms suffering from avian influenza has been decreasing year by year, which indicates the success of national epidemic prevention policy in recent years. Furthermore, the policy and the concept and technology of the owner’s independent epidemic prevention have gradually improved, but there are still a handful of the farmers that are negligent in the prevention and require further training and education.


Since the outbreak of avian influenza and its spread among the human in 2013, the Chinese governments has taken various serious measure to control the spread along with the support of WHO. The disease control departments in various parts of the country started focusing on strengthening disease prevention and surveillance among poultry industry workers, enhancing the sanitation of LPM’s and ensuring hygiene during poultry slaughter and transactions. Furthermore, the Ministry of Agriculture active surveillance in animals and the environment at multiple sites while the Chinese Centre for Disease Control isolated and identified the virus from the patients. All these techniques and education about the virus and its prevention proved successful and reduced the number of human infections in recent year.


However, due to increasingly blurry human-animal interaction, the zoonotic infections are increasing at an unprecedented rate. Furthermore, though the Chinese poultry is shifting from backyard farming to more commercialized poultry farming but there are still many backyard farms without any biosecurity, which create a challenge for MOA to conduct routine avian disease surveillance. Moreover, the unique trade model in China,” company+ peasant household”, creates opportunities for H7N9 influenza virus to transmit from poultry farms to wholesale markets, where different genotypes avian influenza virus can reassert. Therefore, to control the spread the cooperation between the country’s agriculture departments and public health departments should be strengthened. Furthermore, instant and regular flow of information from agriculture to the disease control department should be practiced to ensure timely actions.


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