Via Pacific News Center, a report datelined Guam: Possible Bird Flu Outbreak in Palau Has Guam Officials Concerned. Click through for a video clip. Excerpt:
Government officials in Palau are in the midst of testing three individuals for possible bird flu virus after hundreds of chickens reportedly died in the span of a few days at a chicken farm.
The three employees reported having flu-like symptoms after handling the dead birds.
Samples are now being collected from dozens of employees at a chicken farm in Palau after more than 170 birds suddenly died in the span of a few days. The chickens exhibited flu-like symptoms, local officials in Palau reported to Island Times, before they plopped dead to the ground.
"I received a call Monday from Dr. Tai Chen who is the medical officer at the Honolulu quarantine station just reaching out to us informing me that there was an investigation of chickens that were found on a farm to have died and that there were workers also that may be presenting with influenza like illness," says Department of Public Health’s Communicable Disease Control Administrator, Josie O’Mallan.
"There were three workers that presented with influenza like illness. At this point in time there is no indication or evidence that it’s linked to the chicken deaths that have been reported," she explains.
Guam’s role, she adds, was to provide collection kits because Palau was short.
The 170 chickens were in a farm that housed about 5,000 chickens. It’s still unclear what caused them to become sick, but Bureau of Agriculture Director Fred Sengebau told Island Times that they do suspect some form of Avian Flu. 33 dead chickens were tested, he said, and out of that, 30 tested negative for bird flu and the remaining three were inconclusive.