Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed in Kochi Pref.

Politics Society

Kochi, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)--The prefectural government of Kochi, western Japan, said Wednesday that an outbreak of avian influenza believed to be highly pathogenic has been confirmed at a chicken farm in the city of Sukumo.

All chickens at the farm, totaling some 32,000, will be killed to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus.

It is the first time that a bird flu outbreak has been confirmed at a poultry farm in Kochi. This winter, avian flu infections have also been found at farms in 10 other Japanese prefectures--Kagawa, Fukuoka, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Nara, Hiroshima, Oita, Wakayama, Okayama and Shiga.

The Sukumo farm reported to the Kochi prefectural government on Tuesday morning that 40 of its chickens had died, and positive results were confirmed in a simple test conducted later in the day. A genetic test found early Wednesday that the virus is likely to be highly pathogenic. The prefecture has called on farms within a 10-kilometer radius of the affected farm not to move their chickens or eggs.

Also on Wednesday, the prefectural government of Kagawa said that bird flu believed to be highly pathogenic has been found at a chicken farm in the city of Mitoyo, marking the 12th outbreak in the western prefecture this winter. A total of 29,000 chickens at the farm and a related facility will be slaughtered.

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Jiji Press