Mon 20 Mar 2006
Filed under: Health / AIDS,News
March 18: Yangon: More than 10,000 chickens and quails have died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in central Myanmar and authorities have culled nearly 41,000 more to prevent the disease from spreading, Myanmar state media reported Saturday.
A total of 5,628 chickens and 4,482 quails have died of the virus in the Mandalay and Sagaing areas of central Myanmar, and authorities have slaughtered 13,970 chickens and 27,018 quails and destroyed more than 50,000 eggs from farms in the affected areas as part of preventive measures, state-run newspapers, radio and television reported.
This is the first ever report that quail farms have also been affected by bird flu in Myanmar.
Myanmar officials first reported Monday that 112 chickens had died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, at a poultry farm in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, about 600 kilometers north of Yangon.
On Friday, a Thai government laboratory confirmed the report of Myanmar officials after testing samples of dead chickens sent from Myanmar for lab testing.
A team of Bangkok-based experts of the Food and Agriculture Organization visited the bird flu-affected farms in central Myanmar to study and analyze the situation, state media said Saturday.
The FAO experts from Thailand will hold discussions with Myanmar government after the field studies, reports said.
A ban on the sale of poultry and eggs in and around the affected area has been imposed since Monday, the reports said.
Restricted areas have been imposed within a 7-kilometer radius of the affected farms and authorities are checking all other farms in the areas as well.
State television also started, for the first time, broadcasting video footage of bird flu education Friday.
On Tuesday, the FAO provided $40,000 in emergency assistance to the Myanmar government, including laboratory and personal protection equipment, said Tang Zhengping, resident FAO representative in Yangon.
The H5N1 virus has killed at least 98 people since late 2003 in seven countries — Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Turkey and Iraq — according to the World Health Organization.