VARIOUS: India, Germany and Georgia are among countries stepping up bird flu measures as the deadly virus continues to spreadRecord ID: 491399
- Title: VARIOUS: India, Germany and Georgia are among countries stepping up bird flu measures as the deadly virus continues to spread
- Date: 26th February 2006
- Summary: GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER FRANZ JOSEF JUNG AND MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN STATE AGRICULTURE MINISTER TILL BACKHAUS WALKING ACROSS GREEN CARPET SOAKED WITH DECONTAMINATOR BEFORE ENTERING FERRY PORT; JUNG ENTERING ARMY VEHICLE, THE COMMAND CENTRE; BACKHAUS TALKING TO JUNG (4 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVA2J16PAZ5J45BZ5N2RSVRCGFI0
- Duration: 00:00:23
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Environment / Natural World,Health
- Story Text: Countries across Europe, Asia and Africa continued to step up measures on Saturday (February 25, 2006) in a bit to contain the deadly bird flu virus, which continues its spread. In Georgia the government ordered the slaughtering of all domestic poultry in eleven villages in the Adzhara region of Western Georgia.
They all lie within a three-kilometre radius of a lake where dead swans infected with avian influenza were found on Friday. Authorities banned sales of live domestic birds and hunting of wild waterfowl after the H5N1 strain of the virus was found for the first time in the country.
At a poultry market in Tbilisi, stall holders said sales had plummeted. "Customers come, but don't buy anything, they are afraid they will get sick and die. But we have to kill birds, to clean them, cut them, for us it's much more dangerous," one stall owner named Rusudana said. Laboratory tests in the capital Tbilisi revealed the presence of the virus in eleven migratory swans.
Samples were being sent for further testing in Britain and Italy.
Health authorities in India's southern state of Kerala culled tens of hundreds of ducklings on Saturday smuggled in from neighbouring Tamil Nadu state for sale, barely a week after the world's second most populous nation reported its first H5N1 virus infection in poultry in western Maharashtra. Over 2500 ducklings brought from hatcheries in Erode district of neighbouring Tamil Nadu were culled as a preventive measure in Kollam district after isolated cases of deaths of birds were reported from different parts of the state.
Veterinarians dismissed avian flu being the cause of the death of birds, but samples of the dead birds had been sent for detailed analysis. Officials of animal husbandry department collected samples from the fowls and sent it for detailed analysis at a high security laboratory in central Bhopal. After the outbreak of bird flu in some parts of western Maharashtra state, the provincial government had stepped up vigil on import of poultry products from outside the state. Meanwhile, poultry owners across southern Andhra Pradesh and western Maharashtra, hit hard by bird flu, have hit the road to reassure consumers that all is not bad with their products. Bird Flu was confirmed in two farms in the state's Surat region, which borders Navapur, the epicentre of India's Bird Flu outbreak.
A fourth German state said on Saturday that a wild duck and a swan found dead near the Polish border had tested positive for bird flu as the virus spread across the territory of Europe's biggest economy. The dead birds, a duck and a swan, were found on the edge of Schwedt, a city near the border of Poland, according to a spokesman for the agriculture ministry in the eastern state Brandenburg. He said the ministry did not have confirmation yet that the birds had the H5N1 strain, but that the probability was high. On Friday (February 24), two dead ducks were found to carry the dangerous strain of avian flu in the northwestern state of Schleswig-Holstein, while another one tested positive in the southwestern state of Baden Wuerttemberg. Most of the dead birds, 114 altogether, were in the Baltic coast state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the majority on the island of Ruegen. On Saturday, German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung visited his troops currently stationed on Ruegen and in charge of assisting in the search for further dead birds. He was joined by the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Agricultural Minister, Till Backhaus, who said inspections would be increased. "We will further increase inspections of animal keepers. Each visible head that's sticking out of the barn, those livestock will be killed," he said. The German army sent some 250 soldiers to this resort island last week after local authorities asked for help. The H5N1 virus has killed more than 90 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in southeast Asia and China. Victims contract the virus through close contact with infected birds. Experts fear it is only a matter of time before it changes into a form that passes easily between humans, sparking a pandemic in which millions could die.
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