Avian Influenza
Pakistan confirms fourth bird flu outbreak
Apr 22, 2006 - 5:55:37 PM

Pakistan Friday confirmed an outbreak of bird flu at a chicken farm near the capital and announced the culling of 10,000 chickens there.

The outbreak of avian influenza at a farm in Tarlai, a village on the outskirts of Islamabad, is the fourth in the country.

The culling by the food, agriculture and livestock ministry was carried out at five suspected sites Friday. The bird flu was confirmed by test results, said an official.

"The farm was infected with H5N1 virus. We have taken all protective measures," spokesman Mohammad Afzal told reporters.

Authorities took samples from over two dozen farms at Tarlai and from another five that were suspected to contain the virus.

"Our veterinary staff have destroyed chickens at five more farms, each having 2,000 to 3,000 birds, as we suspected they were also infected with the deadly virus," the spokesman said.

On Sunday, Pakistan confirmed an H5N1 outbreak at a chicken farm near Islamabad.

Its first two bird flu cases were confirmed last month at two chicken farms in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

No human cases have been reported.

Scientists fear a global pandemic if the virus mutates and becomes easily transmissible between humans.

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