PALESTINE, JENIN (Ma'an) - A flock of 2,000 turkeys has been diagnosed with the H5N1 "bird flu" virus in the northern West Bank village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin, government officials said. The veterinary department of the Palestinian Authority Agriculture Ministry said it had managed to prevent an epidemic. Director of the department in Jenin Jamil Makhamra told Ma'an that government and private vets examined the flock on Feb. 27 after many of the birds died. Samples were examined at the veterinary medicine center in Ramallah, where it was confirmed that the birds had influenza A subtype of H5N1, also known as "bird flu." Makhamra said further samples were sent to a veterinary lab in Israel on March 2, but that even before the results were received, vets buried the dead birds, and killed and buried the rest of the flock according to international regulations. The whole farm was sterilized, Makhamra added. Results from the Israeli lab confirmed that the turkeys had bird flu. The ministry official said all necessary procedures were carried out according to international standards. All farms within three kilometers were examined once every 48 hours, and a quarantine was imposed on a 10-kilometer radius for three days preventing the exit or entry of any farm birds, he said. -Maan News
More evidence of spread to Hong Kong: BEIJING - A goose carcass found on a Chinese beach has tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus, officials in Hong Kong said. The decomposed carcass was found at a beach near Sham Shek Tsuen Lantau, said Xinhua, China's official news agency. Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said Friday there were no poultry farms within 3 miles of where the dead bird was discovered. A spokesman for the department said officials should remain on the lookout for sick birds and that it would work to prevent the illegal importation of poultry and birds into the city. -UPI
New outbreaks in Bangladesh: Dhaka, Mar 5 (bdnews24.com) - Around 2,000 chickens have been culled in Gazipur and Noakhali following the detection of H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu. Gazipur Sadar Upazila livestock officer Mohammad Shamsur Rahman on Saturday told bdnews24.com that the bird flu infection was confirmed by the Central Diseases Investigation Laboratory in Dhaka. Some 1, 137 chickens were executed around 10pm on Friday, when 205 eggs were also destroyed. Apart from this, in the last two days, over 13,000 chickens were executed in the district. -BDNews24
New outbreaks in South Korea: South Korea confirmed an additional bird flu case at a duck farm in the central part of the country on Saturday. Tests showed that the 12,400 birds at a poultry farm in Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul, were infected with the virulent H5N1 strain of the avian influenza (AI), the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said. This is the second case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza reported in the country this month as the number of AI cases has started to fall off in recent weeks. It is also the first AI confirmation in Cheonan in 33 days. All ducks on the farm will be culled with quarantine authorities asking nearby farms to be vigilant on protecting their birds. The latest case marks the 49th bird flu outbreak confirmed in the country since suspected cases were first reported on Dec. 29, the NVRQS said. The government has since culled more than 6.04 million birds in six provinces across the country. -Korea Times
New outbreaks in India: Fresh cases of avian influenza or bird flu have been detected in another Tripura poultry farm, and culling of birds is expected to start on Monday, an official said on Sunday. "At least 400 poultry birds have died since March 1 at the Gandhi Gram government poultry farm. Central government expe rts tested the samples of the dead birds and found them positive for the H5 strain of avian influenza," Tripura animal resource development department Joint Director Jyotirmoy Chakraborty told IANS. According to officials, if the two reports are confirmed positive for the H5 strain of avian influenza, the culling of birds would start from Monday at the government poultry farm where more than 7,000 poultry birds are lodged. -Hindustan Times
Chickens dying in 8 districts of Sumatra, Indonesia: Residents in Padang, West Sumatra, have been warned about a possible bird flu endemic after five people were suspected of having contracted the virus. "Padang residents should take precautions," Padang Health Agency head Afrida Aziz was quoted as saying in Padang on Saturday by Antara news agency. She said monitoring bird flu remained a top priority given the impact of the deadly disease, especially in the wake of reports of mass chicken deaths in the city's eight districts. The eight districts are Padang Barat, Padang Utara, Padang Timur, Padang Selatan, Kuranji, Lubuk Begalung, Koto Tangah and Nanggalo. "In those eight districts, residents have reported that many fowl died suddenly," Afrida said. She added her agency was working with the town's agriculture, forestry and plantation agencies to monitor cases and called for chicken breeders to immediately report unusual chicken deaths to effectively roll out preventive measures to contain the virus. The five people reported to have contracted the bird flu virus have been hospitalized. "Doctors are examining their blood samples," Afrida said. -The Jakarta
PostGlobal Status: The regions of where H5N1 virus outbreaks have been reported in animals include: Japan, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, South Korea, Indonesia and now Palestine.
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