The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus was first detected in 1996 in Guangdong, China. Since 2003, H5N1 outbreaks have been reported in parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is currently entrenched among poultry in parts of Asia and poses a major challenge to animal and human health. Singapore is free from HPAI. Given Singapore’s need to import food, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has adopted a pro-active risk management system to prevent the introduction of HPAI. AVA’s approach maybe described as a multi-layered control strategy for the prevention and control of HPAI. The strategy includes control measures at source, border control measures, local control measures and emergency preparedness.
Avian influenza (AI) or “bird flu” is a highly infectious disease of birds. AI viruses are negative single-stranded enveloped RNA viruses that belong to the influenza A genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family.
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