H5N1: Is a global bird flu pandemic brewing?

February 7, 2011ALERT WATCH 1 – In many ways, it is the most sinister and deadly of the HN series virus and it now appears to be spreading dramatically across Asia. The virus hasn’t made the dangerous leap to infecting humans but all measures to contain the virus in Japan now appear to be failing. Today, the virus spread to a 12th poultry farm in the Japanese prefectures. The first cases of the H5N1 virus began showing up in South Korea in December and was believed to be spreading by migratory birds- leading to greater fears that the vector has found transmissibility through global avian winter migration routes. Today, scientists announced another major outbreak of the virus among 8500 chickens in Bangladesh. 
Japan – In Japan, Miyazaki prefecture reported at the weekend that birds found dead at a poultry farm in Takachiho were confirmed infected with a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu virus, the eighth case in the prefecture and 12th in Japan this winter. The farm raises about 40 000 broiler chickens, and prefectural officials started culling them and another 17 000 chickens at related facilities, the Japan Times reported.  –Agra Europe
BangladeshNarayanganj, Feb 7  – Some 8,500 chickens of two poultry farms in Narayanganj have been found infected with H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu virus. According to reports, around 200 chickens of the two farms in Batenpara area of Siddhirganj under Sadar Upazila died on Monday morning. The infection was confirmed when the officials of the Upazila livestock department, sent a sample of the tissue to the Central Diseases Investigation Laboratory (CDIL) in Dhaka for analysis. District livestock department official A K M Ariful Islam told bdnews24.com that some chickens of the twin farms had died over the last few days. The owners of the farms, Abdul Hai and Younus Mia, had brought it to the notice of the local livestock department. The livestock officials visited the farms on Monday and sent the sample of the tissue to CDIL to establish whether it was H5N1 virus infection. “The bird flu was confirmed in scrutiny. Later, we sealed one kilometre area surrounding the poultry farms,” Islam added. Narayanganj Sadar Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) Mohammad Mothahar Hossain told bdnews24.com that there was nothing to panic due to bird flu virus, as the infected chickens would be culled. “The culled chickens will be buried immediately, so that the disease does not spread to other nearby farms,” the UNO added.  –BDNews24
Hong KongHong Kong (HKSAR) – A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 7) that a duck carcass found in Tai O was confirmed to be H5N1 positive after laboratory testing. The duck carcass was found and collected at a beach near Po Chue Tam, Yeung Hau Temple, Tai O on February 3. It was highly decomposed when found and required a series of tests before H5N1 avian influenza was confirmed today. The spokesman said there were no poultry farms within three kilometres of where the dead duck was found. AFCD staff have conducted inspections and found no evidence of any backyard poultry being kept there. AFCD will continue to monitor the situation and conduct inspections of the area. –7th Space.com
See: South Korea outbreak here
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