Iran culls birds af­ter avian flu out­break

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Iran has killed hun­dreds of thou­sands of birds in re­cent weeks as avian flu spreads across seven prov­inces of the coun­try, of­fi­cials have re­ported. More than 1,000 wild birds, mostly geese, have been found dead in the Mighan wet­land in cen­tral Iran, the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion told state news agency IRNA yes­ter­day. IRNA said 63,000 chick­ens, along with 800,000 fer­til­ized eggs and day-old chicks, were culled at a farm in Qazvin prov­ince in re­cent days af­ter an out­break of the deadly H1N8 and H1N5 strains of the dis­ease.

That adds to the 725,000 birds de­stroyed since mid-Novem­ber across the coun­try fol­low­ing nine flu out­breaks, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the World Or­ga­ni­za­tion for An­i­mal Health re­leased last week. Li­censes for bird shoot­ing have been sus­pended due to fear of in­fec­tion by mi­gra­tory birds, and peo­ple have been ad­vised not to buy game birds at lo­cal mar­kets. De­spite a small num­ber of hu­man deaths in dif­fer­ent coun­tries over the years, the dis­ease is mostly a risk to other birds, spread­ing rapidly and killing large num­bers. How­ever, sci­en­tists have raised con­cerns that bird flu strains could mu­tate to be trans­mit­ted be­tween hu­mans. —AFP

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