Nigeria didn't abide by bird flu advice

NIGERIA - Nigeria ignored international recommendations for stopping bird flu, keeping poultry markets open on Sunday and letting people move their birds around most of the country unrestricted.

Officials were awaiting word on whether the virus already had infected people in Africa's most populous nation. Test results were pending on two sick children near a farm where the H5N1 strain was first detected among poultry.

Their families also were being tested. Tope Ajakaiye, a spokesman for Nigeria's Agriculture Ministry, said there were no plans to close poultry markets or restrict the trade or movement of poultry as recommended by international organizations.

"We don't want to cause a situation where there will be much panic or alarm," Ajakaiye said. Indonesia said Sunday that the World Health Organization had confirmed that two women there had died from the H5N1 bird flu strain.

The two deaths are expected to bring Indonesia's official human death toll from the virus to 18. A European Union laboratory was testing samples to determine whether the strain that killed a swan in Slovenia near the Austrian border was H5N1.

On Sunday, Slovenian authorities imposed strict controls in the area. Poultry there will be isolated, tested for the virus and killed if infected. Italy and Greece put similar measures in place Saturday after the H5N1 strain was found for the first time inside the European Union.

Source: ContraCosta Times
calendar icon 13 February 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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