Bird Flu Hits Afghanistan

Posted on March 20, 2006

Bird flu continues to be discovered in new countries in the Middle East and Asia. Iraq has had several cases and deaths. India has also had H5N1 reported in birds. Now the BBC tell us that Afghanistan has reported the H5N1 virus in birds.
Following the detection of bird flu, the Afghan government has put an immediate ban on poultry imports from neighbouring Pakistan.

Nine hundred chicken farms have been closed in Jalalabad and the government and the UN plan to begin culling birds in the affected areas.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul reports that chicken has started disappearing from markets in Jalalabad and Kunar but are available elsewhere in Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

UN and Afghan government officials say a public awareness campaign about the virus is going to be launched.
It isn't going to be easy for war-torn regions like Iraq and Afghanistan to monitor the bird flu situation or follow up on every report.

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