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February 22, 2006

Egypt: "Thousands of dead birds on the streets"

A reader sent me the link to a story on the site of the Kuwait News Agency, but I couldn't get it to display properly. After a considerable work-around, I at least got the text:

11 Egyptian governorates report bird flu cases

CAIRO, Feb 20 (KUNA) -- Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El-Gabali said Monday that 11 governorates reported cases of bird flu, noting that 100 tested locations turned positive, 90 percent of which were in family-owned poultries.

In a parliamentary session, El-Gabali said the governorates that reported bird flu cases were Cairo, Giza, Bani Swaif, Qena, Dulohiya, Qalyobiya, Behaira, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Almenia, Sharqeya, and Manofiya, noting that Cairo, Bani Swaif, and Manofiya reported more positive locations.

He added that residents in these areas have been experiencing fear and panic due to the presence of thousands of dead birds on the streets and floating in water surfaces, noting that the concerned authorities received bird flu 703 reports in 23 governorates.

The minister noted that 299 citizens came in contact with infected birds and were medically examined and turned negative, adding that results of human blood samples tested before also turned negative.

The ministry followed necessary procedures to contain the virus, such as taking blood samples, cleaning and treating sites chemically, and killing, burning, and burrying infected birds.

El-Gabali asserted Egypt's concern for monitoring the disease in cooperation with other countries, calling on owners of poultry businesses to report any cases of bird flu and to keep infected birds in sealed plastic bags to hand them to designated pickup cars.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza said that 17 billion Egyptian pounds are invested in poultry businesses and that 1.5 million workers are employed in this field, calling on the public not to panic as bird flu only infects human with weak immune system and in close contacts with the birds.

Abaza added that international health organizations, the US, and the European Union expressed readiness for providing financial and technical support to Egypt to confront the disease.

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Posted by dymaxion at February 22, 2006 12:44 PM

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