December 18, 2008

Cambodia bans poultry in bird flu outbreak area

The Cambodian government has banned all poultry from an area on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh in a bid to contain a bird flu outbreak that infected one man, officials said Wednesday (December 17).

Cambodia's ministry of agriculture has slaughtered 326 birds since last week and have now warned that any poultry found within a three-kilometre radius of the H5N1 virus outbreak in Kandal province will also be killed.

"Our experts have carefully taken control of the area and looked into the issues very closely," Kao Phal, director of the ministry's animal department, said.

He said a government ban on selling or transporting poultry in the area would last 30 days.

"We are educating the residents to love their lives rather than keep going on with their dangerous businesses."

Officials said that residents were cooperating with the ban as staff from the agriculture and health ministries investigated the outbreak.

"We will continue to search for suspected cases for the next 10 days around the area," the ministry of health's Ly Sovann said.


The World Health Organization says the deadly H5N1 strain has killed nearly 250 people, mostly in Southeast Asia, since 2003.

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