WASHINGTON and ROME -- The recent outbreak of avian influenza in North Korea has been successfully contained, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which is urging the country to continue surveillance on the affected farms and elsewhere to ensure that no residual infection remains.
An H7 strain of the bird flu virus had been detected recently on three poultry farms near the capital Pyongyang. Although this virus caused severe disease in chickens it is not directly related to the H5N1 avian influenza virus circulating in other parts of Asia.
"The virus appears to have been eliminated from the three infected farms
by combining culling of around 218 000 infected chickens, vaccination of
unaffected birds in unaffected poultry houses and strict biosecurity
measures," said FAO consultant Les Sims, who traveled to Pyongyang to advise
the North Korean veterinary authorities on bird flu control.
North Korea has acted promptly and appropriately and has provided
essential information in a timely manner, Sims said, and the official
declaration to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was done in due
time. FAO sent three experts to the country to assist national authorities in
diagnosis and disease management. This was done through the East Asian
Regional Network on Avian Influenza set up by FAO.
The FAO urged North Korea to continue bird flu surveillance throughout the
"Reagents and laboratory tools provided by FAO will assist in continuing
the battle against the virus, but additional strengthening of veterinary
diagnostic and surveillance capacity is seen as a priority to ensure that this
work is completed," said Joseph Domenech, FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations