Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UPDATE 1-India sprays markets, roads to halt bird flu outbreak

KOLKATA, India, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Workers sprayed roads and markets in Kolkata with disinfectants and culled thousands of birds as authorities in eastern India battled to stop an outbreak of bird flu in poultry reaching the crowded city.

Bird flu has spread to 13 of West Bengal’s 19 districts and authorities in the communist-ruled state said they were culling sick chickens in a private farm about an hour’s drive from Kolkata, one of India’s biggest cities.

“We are not taking chances as the farm reported bird deaths and preliminary tests suggest bird flu,” Anisur Rahaman, the state’s animal resources minister told Reuters.

Over 2 million birds have already been culled, but authorities now say they will slaughter thousands of more birds.

They will also ban rearing backyard poultry in infected districts for at least three months.

India was checking hundreds of villagers and health workers for possible symptoms of bird flu, officials said.

Avian flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 01/30 at 05:27 AM
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