Culling begins in Burma

06-03-2007 | | |

After 68 birds died from avian flu in the former capital Rangoon, Burma’s government has ordered the slaughter of 1,500 chickens. There is presently no evidence of human infections.

“It happened on one farm. We are monitoring all members of the family. There are 12 of them. We have been closely monitoring them and their neighbourhood. They haven’t shown any signs of infection,” according to Kanokporn Coninx, avian influenza coordinator at the World Health Organization (WHO). United Nations officials were initially waiting to gain access to the area where the outbreak occurred, but theBurmese government hasn’t asked for any special assistance from the UN.
Although four poultry markets close to the affected area had been closed, there are reports that chickens were still being sold.
A government official from the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries has said the infection probably came from migrating birds. However, David Nabarro, UN coordinator for avian and human flu, said he believes the current spread of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza has more to do with the poultry trade than with migrating wild birds.
Maung Maung Nyunt, director general of the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries, said that more information would be released to the media soon.

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