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H5N1 Infected Birds Smuggled Into Taiwan  from China

Recombinomics Commentary

October 20, 2005

Taiwanese authorities on Thursday confirmed the island's first case of bird flu, the Agricultural Commission said.

Birds taken from a Panama-registered freighter that was stopped by the Taiwanese coast guard on Oct. 14 tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the commission said.

The above report indicates that H5N1 was detected in Taiwan for the first time. H5N2 was detected in Taiwan in late 2003 and there were also reports of H5N1 in smuggled ducks onto Quemoy.Island.  However, this is the first report of H5N1 in Taiwan.

Details of the shipment are unclear, including the origin of the shipment.  Birds from Fuzhou were recently confiscated in Taichung Harbour, which may be the same incident.

H5N1 is a reportable disease and a report from China on birds from the site of origin would seem to be required.

Details on possible undetected smuggling from the same location would be useful.

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