North Korea seems to be the first East Asian country to report the H7 strain of avian influenza.
The recent bird flu outbreaks in North Korea are likely to have been the first in East Asia involving the H7 virus, creating a "new situation" for experts tackling the disease, a senior official at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said Tuesday.
Laboratory tests "have shown indirect evidence that it was a virus of subtype H7," FAO bird flu expert Hans Wagner told Kyodo News upon his return from Pyongyang, where he assisted the country in diagnosing the virus.
Although the H7 type was reported in Pakistan in 2004, there are no records of outbreaks involving the virus in East Asia, FAO spokesman Diderik de Vleeschauwer said.
The virus is the same type that caused outbreaks in the state of Delaware in the United States and Canada in 2004.
Wagner said it was still unclear how pathogenic the virus involved in the North Korea case is.
The North Korean government told FAO last week that it has culled 219,000 birds at three chicken farms owned by the same company.
Full story here.