Bio security fears as bird flu hits Monywa

A worker feeds chicken at a farm in upper Myanmar. Photo: Aye Min Soe
A worker feeds chicken at a farm in upper Myanmar. Photo: Aye Min Soe

FOLLOWING the outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farming zone in upper Myanmar, the Ministry of Health has urged farmers nationwide yesterday to carry out strict bio security measures at poultry farms in order to prevent human infection.
In the announcement, the ministry said that strains H5 and H9 of the bird flu virus broke out at a farming zone in Monywa on April 3.
The sample of the bird flu has been sent to the Australia Animal Health Laboratory—AAHL in order to know the ‘N’ type of the virus, said the statement.
The same farming zone also saw an outbreak of H5N1 in February last year which resulted in the culling of more than 140,000 chickens and 500,000 quails.
THE Ministry of Health confirmed on April 15 that the last outbreak of bird flu occurred in a zone in Monywa and that there has been no humans infected as yet.
The ministry’s announcement said that it had been taking measures to control the avian flu outbreak to the infected zone as of last Friday.
From April 3-5, around 7,000 chickens from 13 farms were culled, according to local report.
The ministry said it is carrying out fever surveillance on the workers, their family members and staff of the ministry that were tasked with culling the infected chickens.
A team from the ministry, comprising local authorities, are combating the outbreak and have implemented a quarantine zone of the infected area and are carrying out surveillance, infection control measures as well as providing medical assistance to those with suspected human infection.
The ministry has established an isolation ward at Monywa General Hospital in order to provide treatment for people suspected of infection. Temporary clinics have been set up at the poultry farming zone.
Mandalay and Sagaing saw outbreaks of bird flu seven times from 2006 to 2015.— GNLM

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