The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has confirmed that a dead great egret discovered in Diamond Hill tested positive for H5N6 bird flu.

The bird was found on New Year’s Eve in a closed area of Nan Lian Garden, more than three kilometres away from the nearest poultry farm. Disinfection and cleaning measures have been strengthened at the venue, the AFCD said.

Nan Lian Garden. File photo: Wikicommons.

This is the fourth case of bird carcasses testing positive for the H5N6 strain in Hong Kong. In April, May and November last year, the virus was found in birds in Yuen Long, Sai Kung, and Kwai Chung.

A 26-year-old woman from Shenzhen died of H5N6 on December 30, China state media Xinhua reported. The Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the woman was infected after making direct contact with live poultry.

It was the fifth case of human H5N6 infection reported worldwide, the Center said.

Great Egret. File photo: Wikicommons.

The AFCD said they have reminded poultry farmers to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against avian influenza. The department said it will conduct wild bird monitoring and inspections of poultry farms and wholesale markets.

“People should avoid contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them,” an AFCD spokesperson advised.

Koel Chu

Koel Chu is a second-year journalism and fine arts student at the University of Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Koel is interested in the arts and urban design. She interned at China Radio International in Beijing and, at her university, she also works as Vice-President of Branding and Marketing in AIESEC, the largest youth-run organisation in the world.