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March 17, 2006

Congo: "We are now perhaps living in danger"

Via Reuters, more bad news on a bad morning: 260 chickens, ducks die of suspected avian flu in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Agricultural officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have recorded at least 260 chickens and ducks suspected of having died of the avian flu, Agriculture Minister Constant Ndom Nda said on Thursday.

Announcing this at a news conference in the capital, Kinshasa, he made a public appeal to the United Nations for help to face the danger, and for the rehabilitation of veterinary laboratories in Kinshasa and the southern city of Lumbumbashi.

"We have passed Phase Four, and are no longer simply limited to mobilisation but to active intervention on the ground because we are now perhaps living in danger," he said.

The permanent secretary at the ministry, Ali Ramazani, said it only learnt about the birds on Thursday, which actually died three or four days ago. He said 100 of them died in a single day in Tshikapa, a town in the south-central province of Kasai Occidental. He said the dead birds presented a danger to public health because tests had not been conducted.

"The problem is that most of the dead chicken and ducks in Tshikapa have been eaten," Ramazani said.

enough about the outbreak in Israel, but it anyone can handle the problem, it's the Israelis. The DRC, on the other hand, has seen millions die in a mostly unreported civil war in recent years. It has essentially no infrastructure for something like this. The Congolese are indeed living in danger.

Posted by dymaxion at March 17, 2006 12:45 PM

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