Bird flu detected in 2 wild duck corpses at Fukushima reservoir
Highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu has been detected in the corpses of 2 migratory wild ducks found at a reservoir here [Koriyama, Fukushima], prefectural authorities announced on 19 Jan 2011.

From [4 to 7 Jan 2011], the prefecture gathered 7 bird corpses from the reservoir and sent them for testing at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. 4 of the corpses tested positive for Type-A influenza, and further investigation at Hokkaido University in Sapporo found that 2 had the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu. The other corpses are still being investigated.

The prefecture set up a response center on 19 Jan 2011, and on the morning of 20 Jan 2011 began sending inspectors clad in protective suits to 59 poultry farms in a 10-km [6.2-mile] radius area under supervision that includes neighboring towns. The inspectors are interviewing farmers, looking for signs of contagion such as changes in the death or egg-laying rates of chickens, and checking that farms have anti-contagion measures in place such as nets to keep out wild birds and supplies of disinfectant on hand.

Furthermore, nearby roads are being disinfected to prevent possible contagion from bird droppings, and inspectors are watching for any bird corpses in the areas where the ducks migrate to. The reservoir where the duck corpses were found has been disinfected, and the prefecture is stepping up observation for wild birds in agricultural water reservoirs in the city.

The reservoir where the duck corpses were found is located in an urban area west of Koriyama Station. According to the Koriyama city water department, the reservoir supplies water to around 22 000 homes. The department says the reservoir, treated with chlorine, presents no danger to humans. Still, to ease the concerns of citizens, it was decided to temporarily use water from nearby Inawashiro lake in place of the reservoir.

The discovery of H5N1 bird flu in Koriyama is the 6th confirmed case in the country since October of last year [2010] when it was detected in duck droppings in Wakkanai, Hokkaido. Further cases were confirmed in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture, Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, and Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture.