Avian Influenza
Pakistan confirms presence of bird flu
Mar 22, 2006, 01:35

Pakistan's authorities confirmed Tuesday the presence of deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in the country, an official statement said.

"The presence of the H5N1 strain has been confirmed in two poultry farms in the North-Western Frontier Province's towns of Abbottabad and Charsada," said the statement issued by the food and agriculture ministry here.

The samples taken from one commercial egg farm in Charsada and one small breeder farm at Abbottabad in February were sent to World Reference Laboratory at Weybridge, England as per international norms and requirements.

"They (British experts) have also endorsed the finding of our laboratory that the infection was avian influenza H5N1," the statement said.

It added that some additional samples were also sent, which proved negative in both national and international laboratories.

Pakistan had announced presence of avian influenza H5 on Feb 27 this year in the two provincial farms, which followed necessary steps to minimise spread of infection to other poultry farms in the region and rest of the country.

"The two poultry farms were quarantined and all birds there were culled with cooperation of the poultry farmers and Pakistan poultry association", said the statement.

It said that all provincial governments have been performing increased surveillance thereafter and that no new outbreaks have been detected.

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