Avian influenza, subtype unknown,
Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea
March 30, 2005
The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea ( North Korea ) Central News Agency announced on March 27, 2005, an outbreak of avian influenza in commercial poultry operations. The outbreak reportedly involves two or three farms in the Pyongyang region. The virus subtype has not been reported. There is conflicting information in media reports regarding the extent of control activities. No human cases have been reported to the World Health Organization by North Korea as of March 30, 2005.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has sent avian influenza experts to North Korea to obtain further information on the extent of the outbreak and offer disease control assistance. North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, with around 8 million chronically undernourished in 2000-2002 and a limited supply of animal protein.
The most extensive outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, subtype H5N1 (HPAI) was simultaneously reported from eight Asian countries (Cambodia, the Peoples Republic of China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Republic of Korea [South Korea], Thailand, Vietnam) in late 2003 and early 2004. Malaysia was the ninth country to report HPAI in August 2004. Hong Kong SAR has reported HPAI in wild birds in 2004 and 2005.
As of March 29, 2005, there have been 73 confirmed human cases of illness due to HPAI infection; of these, 48 (66%) have been fatal. Confirmed cases have been reported in Vietnam (54 cases), Thailand (17 cases) and Cambodia (2 cases).
Outbreaks in commercial and traditional poultry farms continue to be reported from Cambodia , the Peoples Republic of China , Indonesia , Thailand and Vietnam . Japan and Malaysia have reported eradicating HPAI in July 2004 and January 2005, respectively.
For information on HPAI in Asia, see the websites noted below. In addition, impact worksheets with information on poultry production and trade for the affected Asian countries can be found at /vs/ceah/cei/worksheets.htm
Sources: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Avian Influenza, http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/subjects/en/health/diseases-cards/special_avian.html
FAOAIDEnews (FAO avian influenza disease emergency news), http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/subjects/en/health/diseases-cards/avian_update.html
World Health Organization Avian Influenza, http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), disease information, http://www.oie.int/eng/info/hebdo/a_isum.htm
For more information or comments on this short report, please contact Kathy Orloski at 970-494-7221 or Judy Akkina at 970-494-7324.