TAIPEI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan reported the first bird flu case of the H5N6 virus Monday, which authorities said was very similar to the avian virus plaguing the Republic of Korea (ROK).
The highly pathogenic H5N6 virus was confirmed in a dead gosling picked up at a farm road in eastern Hualien county, and part of its DNA sequence was 99 percent the same as the virus tested in ROK and Japan, the island's animal and plant inspection authority said.
The H5N6 virus has been confirmed in 340 farms in ROK since October and 10 farms in Japan, leading to the culling of at least 34 million fowl, according to the authority.
The virus has also caused human deaths on the Chinese mainland.
An inspection campaign was initiated by the authority to track the source of the gosling and strengthen the monitoring of poultry within three kilometers of where the bird was found.
The authority ordered that poultry from Hualien must undergo strict examination before slaughter and sale.
Taiwan is a common destination for migrating birds to spend the winter. It has reported about 12 avian flu cases this year, but all were caused by the H5N2 or H5N8 virus.
The island has warned of the high risks of occurrence of new strain and urged farms across the island to reinforce safety checks and speedily report the unusual death of animals.