FLU NEWS SCAN: Avian flu outbreaks in 3 countries, H1N1 surge in Venezuela

Mar 23, 2011

Avian flu outbreaks reported in Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh
Indonesian officials have reported recent avian flu outbreaks affecting three districts on the resort island of Bali as well as in Bengkulu province on the island of Sumatra, according to news reports. Today Bali's animal husbandry office confirmed that at least 85 chickens have died of avian flu in February and March in Badung, North Denpasar, and Tabanan districts, all tourism areas, according to the Jakarta Globe. The virus strain was not specified. And yesterday the country's Antara News service reported that 1,881 chickens tested positive in the past 2 weeks for H5N1 avian flu in Bengkulu province, with most cases—1,175 fatal ones—recorded in the province's Seluma district.
Mar 22Antara News report
Meanwhile, Japanese officials have confirmed two outbreaks near Chiba city in Chiba prefecture that led to the culling of nearly 100,000 poultry after 96 chickens died from highly pathogenic H5N1, according to a report filed today with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The first outbreak began Mar 13 and affected two chickens, leading to the culling of 34,998 birds. This outbreak had previously been reported by the local media. The second outbreak began Mar 16 at a separate farm, killing 94 chickens and necessitating the culling of 61,918 poultry.
And in Bangladesh, about 30,000 chickens and 50,000 eggs were destroyed at a farm in Gazipur district after samples from dead birds tested positive for an unspecified avian flu strain, according to bdnews24.com, a Dhaka-based news service. A regional livestock officer said poultry had started dying Mar 19, and the order to cull the rest of the flock came today after confirmation of the disease from a laboratory in Dhaka.

Venezuela reports rise in 2009 H1N1 infections
Venezuelan health officials noted a spike in 2009 H1N1 infections, which is centered in the western state of Merida and is affecting seven other of the country's 23 states, Press TV, an international English-language broadcast news outlet based in Tehran, reported today. The government has closed Merida schools and limited large indoor gatherings in the state to slow the spread of the virus. Though schools are closed in Merida City, a study-abroad program in the city—where 27 students from US colleges are studying, including 16 from the University of Minnesota—remains open, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported yesterday. The school's dean said he kept the school open because the students have a return flight on May 3 and need to complete their program. According to the report, Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez said the country has 2 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine and that supplies have been sent to Merida, which began vaccinating people on Mar 18.
Mar 23 Press TV story
Mar 22 Star Tribune story

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