China confirms H5N1, goat plague cases
BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Tuesday confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu in poultry in southwest China's Guizhou Province and goat plague in northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
On Feb. 13, a farm in a village of Xixiu District in Anshun City of Guizhou reported 3,629 chickens had showed symptoms of suspected avian flu and that 976 of them had died.
The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory confirmed the epidemic was H5N1 after testing collected samples, according to the MOA.
Also on Feb. 13, a village in Yanchi County in Wuzhong City of Ningxia reported that 116 goats had showed suspected symptoms of peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as goat plague, and that 32 of them had died. The national exotic animal disease research center on Tuesday confirmed that the epidemic was PPR.
Local authorities have sealed off and sterilized the infected areas, where the infected chickens, goats and goats from the same herds have been culled and safely disposed of to prevent the disease from spreading, said the MOA.
Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a contagious disease of animal origin caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. It can be fatal to humans.
PPR, or ovine rinderpest, is a contagious disease mainly affecting goats and sheep. The virus causes fever, lesions, labored breathing and diarrhea in infected animals.