Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bird flu strikes another Bangladesh district

DHAKA, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Bird flu has spread to another district in Bangladesh despite efforts by authorities to control it, officials said on Wednesday, bringing the number of affected districts to 41 out of 64.

Health workers culled nearly 1,100 fowl after tests confirmed some chickens had died from the avian influenza virus in western Meherpur, livestock officials said.

The H5N1 virus, first detected in Bangladesh in March last year, was quickly brought under control through aggressive measures, including culling. But it reappeared few months ago apparently because of lax follow-up monitoring, experts say.

So far no human infections have been reported in Bangladesh, a densely populated nation with millions of backyard poultry and thousands of chicken farms.

The government has raised compensation for poultry farmers to encourage them to report and kill sick birds as part of efforts to stamp out the outbreak. Nearly 600,000 birds have been culled across the country against the virus since March 2007, but it continues to spread and now covers nearly two-thirds of the country of more than 140 million people.

Officials blame lack of awareness among poultry breeders and non-compliance with warnings by the health ministry as main reasons for the spread of the virus.

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/13 at 01:45 PM
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