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Cablegate: Burma Ai Update: March 28, 2007

VZCZCXRO7505
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGO #0315/01 0871051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281051Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5907
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1381
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0241
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 4515
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3810
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7336
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4888
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0076
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 1091
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1106
RUDKIA/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 0936
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RANGOON 000315

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, G/AIAG;
PACOM FOR FPA;
USDA FOR FAS/PECAD, FAS/CNMP, FAS/AAD, APHIS;
BANGKOK FOR USAID:JMACARTHUR, APHIS:NCARDENAS, REO:JWALLER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID AMED PGOV PREL CASC TBIO KFLU BM
SUBJECT: BURMA AI UPDATE: MARCH 28, 2007

REF: A. RANGOON 304

B. RANGOON 287
C. RANGOON 284

RANGOON 00000315 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: On March 23, Burma's Livestock Breeding and
Veterinary Department (LBVD) reported that the birds found
dead at a quail farm in Hmaw Bi Township in Rangoon Division
tested positive for Influenza type A. The farm owner
requested the destruction of the birds before confirmation of
AI, and officials culled all remaining quail, as well as
ducks and chickens at neighboring farms. Administrative,
police and industry association personnel helped authorities
enforce restrictions on the movement of poultry-related
products from affected areas. The GOB has reported no
confirmed human cases. On March 23, officials from the
animal and human health sectors presented an update on the
current AI situation to almost 100 members of the
international community. End summary.

Official Actions
----------------
2. (SBU) On March 22, LBVD responded to reports of quail
deaths at a farm in Hmaw Bi Township in Rangoon Division.
The farm is located in the same Township as the March 17 and
18 outbreak. The LBVD did not wait for lab results, and
culled the remaining 3,000 quail, as well as 125 chickens and
54 ducks at neighboring farms, as a disease prevention
measure. The Myanmar Livestock Federation sent volunteers to
help the culling and disinfecting teams. Since the disease
was not confirmed, authorities did not plan to report it to
OIE.

3. (U) Authorities strictly enforced the ban on the movement
of poultry-related products from the controlled areas around
the affected farms. Police, together with township Peace and
Development Council authorities and Livestock Federation
personnel, reinforced LBVD inspectors at the cargo inspection
gates leaving Rangoon. The Yangon City Development Council
(YCDC) distributed a leaflet, "Imposing Discipline at the
Chicken Market," to poultry traders and provided
sterilization tanks to poultry markets to use for waste that
was previously tossed into nearby streams.

Briefing for International Community
------------------------------------
4. (U) At a session hosted by WHO on March 23, Ministry of
Health, LBVD, and WHO officials described the current AI
situation to over 100 representatives from diplomatic
missions, INGOs, and UN agencies. LBVD Advisor Dr. Than Hla
gave a briefing on recent poultry outbreaks and suggested the
probable source was wild birds. On March 27, the government
newspaper reported that LBVD had tested most of the 324 wild
birds found dead during the previous month, and all but six
had died of causes other than AI. The article stated that
LBVD suspected that, of the tested birds, six crows may have
been infected with AI. The article continued that LBVD found
no trace of AI in 75 dead chickens and 22 dead geese sent
from poultry farms in the affected areas.

5. (U) The Ministry of Health (MOH) presenter, Dr. Soe Lwin
Nyein, Deputy Director of the Central Epidemiology Unit, said
the MoH previously had 955 people under surveillance in the
outbreak areas, but has cleared 479. It will maintain
surveillance on the remaining 476 people, mainly responders
and residents. Two suspected cases, a 50-year old male
responder and another patient who died on March 22 in the
district hospital in Meiktila, near Mandalay, have proven

RANGOON 00000315 002.2 OF 002


negative for AI. Rapid Response Teams went to Meiktila and
discovered no outbreak in poultry.

6. (U) Dr. Soe Lwin Nyein said that the MoH required daily
reporting from all hospitals, whether or not they have any
suspected cases. He then gave out contact numbers for the
MoH's Rangoon Division Response Department to report
suspected AI cases, and a number in Nay Pyi Taw for the
central response office. Kanokporn Coninx, WHO AI
Coordinator, described the international response to Burma's
AI outbreak and expressed gratitude for USAID's assistance to
WHO and FAO. Two expatriate doctors then gave a general
briefing about AI in humans.
VILLAROSA

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