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Bird flu ruled out in duck deaths

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Ducks are wrangled from a farm in Tuol Ponrol village to a nearby pond in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district earlier this month. There have been no reported cases of Avian influenza in Cambodia this year.

About 600 ducks died this month in Banteay Meanchey province from stress, not bird flu, provincial health officials said yesterday.

Huy Touch, director of Banteay Meanchey provincial department of animal health and production at the Ministry of Agriculture, said yesterday that a laboratory at Phnom Penh’s Calmette hospital had tested a sample of ducks that died inexplicably over the course of three days in Mongkol Borei and Sisophon districts.

“We got the results of the examination on Friday, which confirmed that the dead ducks had no H5N1,” Huy Touch said.

“The deaths were caused by stress because those ducks were sent from place to place while the weather was cool.”

Huy Touch said he initially suspected the ducks had died from a combination of cholera, changes in the weather and a lack of farm sanitation or use of vaccinations.

He added that his officers had told villagers in the province to be careful with their poultry and not to eat ducks that had been sick or died without explanation.

Ly Sovann, deputy director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control at the Ministry of Health, could not be reached for comment.

Ly Sovann told a reporter from The Post on January 14 that “so far there have been no [bird] flu cases found in Cambodia this year”.

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