Monday, January 28, 2008

Bangladesh plans house-to-house bird flu search

DHAKA (AFP) — Bangladeshi authorities are to start house-to-house surveillance in their latest effort to stem a worsening outbreak of bird flu, an official said Monday.

The country’s emergency government said the spread of avian flu, which has hit half the country, has become “alarming.”

Three more districts reported outbreaks at the weekend, and wild birds have also been dropping dead.

“We are going to search house to house and bring each of more than 150,000 poultry farms under our active surveillance to prevent the spread,” government spokesman Salahuddin Khan said.

“We’re not panicked. But we have stepped up our action programme for greater public safety,” Khan said.

Officials said the situation in the impoverished country of 144 million was so wide in scope that even wild crows had been infected.

“It is an alarming situation. Hundreds of crows have died across the country due to the bird flu. Laboratory tests have confirmed that the crows died of H5N1 strain of the bird flu,” a government science advisor said on Sunday.

“Farmers in some villages are throwing away dead chickens in canals and ponds, spreading the disease without knowing it. The government should make it an emergency health issue,” added the official, who asked not to be named.

Avian flu story source: AFP

Posted by john T. on 01/28 at 11:19 AM
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