Monday, February 19, 2007

News From Around The World

TURKEY : Confirmation that the bird flu virus has returned to the south-east of the country, with three people being tested for the virus. Four children died of bird flu in Turkey in 2006.
Ten villages have reported outbreaks. Hundreds of birds have been culled and some of the villages are now under tight quarantine restrictions.

EGYPT : Two more human deaths from H5N1 have been reported, including a 5 year old. Egypt is now denying it is experiencing a far more deadly strain of bird flu than in 2006, when six people died in less than two months. 13 people have died of bird flu in Egypt so far.

HUNGARY : A turkey farmed owned by the same company that saw an outbreak of the virus in Suffolk, England, two weeks ago, is now being blamed as the source of the virus. Contaminated turkey meat is believed to have been transported from the farm in Hungary to the Suffolk farm less than a month after an outbreak in Hungary was confirmed. The turkey farms owner, Bernard Mathews, is denying his company is responsible for spreading the H5N1 virus from Hungary to England.

ASIA : Poultry is key to many celebrations and family feasts across Asia during the Lunar New Year, and bird flu experts are bracing for a fresh round of outbreaks of the virus as hundreds of millions of people go on the move, travelling great distances, and possibly carrying strains of the H5N1 virus in the poultry products they take with them as they travel.

VIETNAM : Experts in Vietnam are claiming they have contained the spread of the H5N1 virus after a shocking string of outbreaks in 21 different locations.

INDONESIA : The Indonesian government has reached an accord with the World Health Organisation over the international sharing of H5N1 virus samples. Indonesia stopped sharing such samples late in 2006, after an Australian drug manufacturer filed for a patent on a vaccine derived from an Indonesian strain of the virus. The Indonesian government demanded a guarantee from the WHO that poor countries would be given equal and affordable access to any and all bird flu vaccines recommended by the UN body in exchange for returning to sharing virus samples with researchers, a demand now met by WHO.

RUSSIA : The presence of the H5N1 virus has been confirmed in at least poultry farms near Moscow. Tight quarantine restrictions have been imposed, and any farm workers who have been exposed to 30 birds or more have been hospitalised, "as a precaution". Moscow's chief veterinarian has claimed the outbreak may be the result of an act of "bioterrorism" and said the possibility can not yet be ruled out. He wants the Security Services to take over the investigation. A third outbreak has now been reported, but not yet confirmed.

NIGERIA : Poultry traders in a number of markets say they will resist any further government-ordered culls of their bird stocks. Traders claimed that they were not compensated by the government after culls in 2006 and suffered substantial financial losses as a result.

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