Bird flu task force to disband after outbreak contained

Premier Lin Chuan said Friday that an epidemic prevention task force is to be dissolved after it successfully contained a recent bird flu outbreak.

The first confirmed case of H5N6 avian flu was detected in February this year on a duck farm in Hualien County. Authorities immediately upgraded their level of epidemic prevention. That's because H5N6 is a highly contagious strain of bird flu and one which has caused human fatalities in China.

The Cabinet set up the task force at the time to contain the spread of the virus. The task force imposed a weeklong ban on the slaughter and transport of poultry, the longest such ban in Taiwan's history. A massive cull of poultry was also carried out in farms across the country.

Lin announced on Friday that the virus has successfully been contained and that the epidemic prevention level has been downgraded to normal. He said he hopes the officials in charge of virus and disease control will stay alert after the task force is disbanded to prevent possible follow-up cases of infection.

Source: Radio Taiwan International