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Cablegate: Burma: Avian Influenza Detected in Poultry

VZCZCXRO0373
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGO #0081/01 0411044
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101044Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9821
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2480
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2408
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 5342
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 5903
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9466
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 7093
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1933
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 2416
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 0766
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 000081

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, G/AIAG;
PACOM FOR FPA;
USDA FOR FAS/PECAD, FAS/CNMP, FAS/AAD, APHIS;
APHIS:RTANAKA, REO:HHOWARD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID AMED PGOV PREL CASC TBIO KFLU BM
SUBJECT: BURMA: AVIAN INFLUENZA DETECTED IN POULTRY

REF: A. 2007 RANGOON 212
B. 2007 RANGOON 221
C. 2007 RANGOON 274
D. 2007 RANGOON 287
E. 2007 RANGOON 489
F. 2007 RANGOON 1180
G. 2007 RANGOON 1210

RANGOON 00000081 001.2 OF 002


HPAI Detected in Rangoon Chickens
---------------------------------

1. (SBU) Burmese health officials confirmed February 5 they
have identified an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian
Influenza (HPAI) at a poultry farm in Rangoon's Myangone
Township. The initial outbreak, detected February 1, was
reported to health officials on February 2, and appeared to
have a 100 percent mortality rate among infected birds.
Officials with Burma's Livestock Breeding and Veterinary
Department (LBVD) reported that health officials quarantined
the farm, culled 2,355 chickens, burned the carcasses, and
buried associated waste on site February 2-3. The exile news
outlet Mizzima reported the farm is owned by the Burmese
Army's Rangoon command, as are many poultry farms in the
area. The Burmese language version of the GOB controlled
daily New Light of Myanmar reported details of the current
outbreak on February 6 but did not identify the farm's owners.

2. (SBU) This is the first known incidence of AI here since
2007 when GOB health officials reported a series of outbreaks
at poultry farms in Rangoon, Mon State, Shan State, and Bago
Division from February through December, including a human
case in Shan State.

GOB Forms Interagency Teams to Respond
--------------------------------------

3. (SBU) GOB officials held an interagency meeting on
February 8 to plan next steps. Meeting participants formed a
rapid response team, a culling team, a disinfecting team, a
surveillance team, a laboratory support team, and a marketing
and movement control team to handle this case and prepare for
a potential spread of the disease. The disinfecting team
will attempt to sanitize the current outbreak site three
times over the next 21 days. Simultaneously, LBVD officials
will attempt to track movement of people and materials to and
from the site for the ten days that preceded the February 1
outbreak. They will also monitor potential outbreak sites in
concentric circles around the affected farm. The first
perimeter, encompassing the 'infected area,' extends one
kilometer from the farm and does not contain any other
concentrations of poultry. The second perimeter, the
'restricted area,' extends from one to three kilometers from
the farm and contains at least 20 additional poultry farms.

Vector Unknown
--------------

4. (SBU) The vector for this outbreak remains unknown. LBVD
officials are focusing on a small number of domestic ducks
and barnyard chickens (as opposed to the farm's commercial
egg layers) resident on the farm, infection via wild birds,
infection via contaminated egg trays from another farm, and
infection via a 'dangerous contact person,' or someone whose
occupation puts him/her in contact with poultry at multiple
sites (e.g. a delivery driver) as possible sources.

5. (SBU) Burmese health officials verified the HPAI presence
using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted with

RANGOON 00000081 002.2 OF 002


equipment donated to Burma by the Government of Japan.

Chicken and Egg Sales Restricted
--------------------------------

6. (SBU) According to contacts at the Yangon City Development
Committee, health officials banned the sale of poultry
products in the Rangoon-area Myangone and Okkalpa Townships
in response to the outbreak. Poultry and eggs are not
restricted elsewhere in the city and remain available in
local markets.
DINGER

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