December 24, 2008


Bangladesh reports bird flu outbreak in northern district

Bangladeshi authorities said Tuesday (Dec 23) a new outbreak of bird flu had been detected at a village in the north of the country as they struggled to contain the disease.


Livestock department spokesman Salahuddin Khan said at least 100 birds were slaughtered on a farm in the northern Kurigram district late Monday (Dec 22) after the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered.


"This is the fifth district to have been hit by bird flu since it re-emerged in October after a break of four months," Khan said, adding the government had stepped up surveillance.


Bangladesh was hit by bird flu in February 2007, and the virus made another comeback in January. Earlier this year, 50 of the country's 64 districts were affected, and more than a million birds were slaughtered.


Industry officials said that that outbreak led to closure of 40 percent of Bangladesh's poultry farms and left half a million workers jobless.


Bangladesh's poultry industry produces 220 million chickens and 37 million ducks annually.

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