Bird flu spreading afresh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 07, 2009

Bird flu spreading afresh

Fowls culled in Netrakona, Gaibandha

Avian influenza has started spreading in different poultry farms across the country again as department of fisheries and livestock detected the bird flu virus and culled birds at different places.
Up to March 3 this year, a total of 16,63,702 chickens were culled since 2007 when bird flu was detected first in the country.
Authorities yesterday culled 2,095 chickens and destroyed 205 eggs following detection of bird flu in Netrakona and Gaibandha.
Earlier on February 28, 188 chickens were culled and 60 eggs destroyed, according to the website of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
Our correspondent from Netrakona reported that a total of 1,595 chickens and 205 eggs were destroyed at a poultry farm at Kendua upazila in Netrakona.
Officials at Netrakona District Livestock office said they detected bird flu virus at a poultry farm owned by Russell Ahmed at Rampur village under Kendua upazila Thursday night.
“The virus was found when dead chickens of the farm were examined at the district livestock laboratory by rapid antigen detection test (RADT),” said an official.
The laboratory test was conducted on information that over a dozen of chickens died in the farm during the last three days, officials said.
Our Gaibandha correspondent reports: The livestock department of the district yesterday culled around 500 chickens at Uttar Kazibari village under Sadullahpur upazila immediately after detection of bird flu virus in the areas.
Sources said some 18 poultry birds died at the farm owned by Abdul Hannan. Following the death of birds, Upazila Livestock Officer Dr Uttam Kumar Das took samples of the dead chickens and found the existence of avian influenza in the body of a bird.
A team later collected 500 poultry birds, including chickens, and destroyed the birds on Upazila Parishad Complex.
“The government has been alert enough this season to monitor bird flu cases. Wherever any bird flu virus is detected, authorities are taking measures to check its outbreak,” said Dr Giasuddin, chief scientific officer at Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.
The government with assistance from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has employed field volunteers since October 2008 to strengthen surveillance of bird flu in rural areas, he said.
According to the official website, the government found the presence of the H5N1 virus at 308 farms in 47 districts and culled chickens of 568 farms until March 3.
Outbreaks of the virus generally occur after the end of the rains in October and continue until early June when the rains return.
Four hundred and eight confirmed cases of bird flu patients worldwide have been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) since 2003. Of these, at least 254 had died as of 18 February 2009. Most of them had close contact with sick birds.

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