Martin W
Preliminary testing of a Common Magpie found in Sham Tseng has indicated a suspected case of H5 avian influenza, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 4), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

The bird was collected by AFCD staff in Yuen Tun Village, Tsing Lung Tau following a public referral on February 2. Appearing sick at the time, it was transferred to the department’s Animal Management Centre/North and died the following day.

The spokesman said there is only one commercial chicken farm within five kilometres of where the bird was found. No abnormal mortality or symptoms of avian influenza was detected among the chicken flocks upon inspection.


This is on west coast of the New Territories (near Tsuen Wan), so not real close to the other recent H5N1 reports in Hong Kong.
Magpies have tested positive for H5N1 before (eg ne China), perhaps contracting after scavenging carcasses of infected birds.
Not far from Wong Tai Sin (crested mynah), but also not a species I’d expect among birds released in ceremonies.

6 Feb update: results positive for H5N1.

Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/02/06 15:15