Why are the Crows Dying of H5N1 in Bangladesh?

Up to now, Crows from all over the world have shown them selves to be immune to the H5N1 virus.
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At least there have never been a large number of crows found sick with, or dying from the Bird Flu virus, even in the countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, where the Bird Flu virus has been around for years.
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But that was before the recent and continuing mass deaths of crows in all parts of Bangladesh.
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The local parks in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh are littered with the corpses of crows, reportedly victims of the H5N1 virus.
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Could this be a new mutated strain of the H5N1 virus, that is lethal for the normally hardy crows? 
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If that was not bad enough, now we hear that there are mass deaths of crows reported in Pakistan as well! 
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Two Dead Crows on Omen Day

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Mini Lakes Of Egg Yolk as Bird Flu Panic Grows.

In a clear display of panic, hundreds of thousands of Eggs are being destroyed in the state of West Bengal in India, creating mini lakes of rapidly decaying egg yolk, in hastily dug ditches.
Meanwhile India’s worst outbreak of bird flu spread as health authorities battled to stop it reaching the densely populated city of Kolkata amid heavy rain that hampered culling efforts.
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Authorities reported the disease had affected two more districts, bringing the number hit by avian flu to 12 out of West Bengal state’s total of 19.The fear of the H5N1 virus is spreading to other parts of India as well.–                                                                                                                                               –                                                                                   –
In neighbouring Bangladesh from where the Indian outbreak is believed to have spread, health teams slaughtered a large number of birds in a border area amid a worsening bird flu situation across the country.
Some 2,646 chickens, ducks and pigeons were culled and 1,140 eggs destroyed in Bangladesh’s southern Patuakhali district, about 160 km south of capital Dhaka Thursday night after detection of avian influenza.
There are also reports of a large number of Crows dying of the H5N1 virus in Patuakhali in southern Bangladesh.
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The deadly bird flu virus has also killed 30 chickens in Thailand, marking the second outbreak of bird flu in 10 months, livestock officials said yesterday.

This is the second outbreak of bird flu in Thailand since March 18, 2007.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 34-year-old man from Vietnam has died of H5N1 avian influenza.
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While in Indonesia, a 30-year-old man has died of bird flu, the health ministry said Thursday, bringing the toll to 98 in the nation worst hit by the H5N1 virus.
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In the UK, a sixth swan from a bird sanctuary has tested positive for avian flu, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed.The news comes after restrictions on the movement of poultry or other captive birds in the Wild Bird Monitoring Area around Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, England were lifted at 3pm on Friday.-                                                                                                                                                    –The Bird Flu Virus has spread to 15 countries since the beginning of this year!

Spread of Bird Flu in to Bihar could be really bad news.

The State Government of Bihar today ordered culling of chickens in six panchayat areas in Katihar district, adjacent to affected Malda district of West Bengal, “as a preventive measure”, a day after imposing a blanket ban on entry of poultry from the neighbouring state.
Earlier, contrary to the claims of the West Bengal govt that bird flu has been contained, the deadly virus on Wednesday was detected in samples of dead chicken in Cooch Behar district.
The state of Bihar is under-developed even when compared to most of the other regions of India.
The poverty and lack of education, specially within the large Muslim population in Bihar makes it an ideal target for the killer virus.
Basic Hygiene and common sense give way to tradition and religious practices in this part of India
I have always believed that the number of the human victims of the bird flu are directly related to the custom of Halal, where the poultry is killed by making a cut in the throat of the bird and letting the blood flow out while the bird is held up side down by its feet.
Bihar like the State of West Bengal, is host to millions of refugees from the neighbouring country of Bangladesh, where H5N1 is thought to be endemic now.
So if bird flu in Bengal is bad, it could be a lot worse in Bihar.

2008 the year of the Flu Pandemic?

I have been following the H5N1 virus for a while now.
Since the year 2003, the bird flu virus repeatedly seems to appeare out of no where, for no visible reason, mostly in a remote (from the point of view of the west) country in the far east and then, after a short period of local panic, the virus disappears, again for no provable reason.
We have gotten used to this peak-a-boo game, with the deadliest of potential dangers to mankind to such an extent, that there are “journalists” taking bets against the chance of a pandemic-in-our-time.
There are others who think that bird flu is a social network tool and have regular get together shindings and a jolly good knees-up.
This year is different however.
The year started with the H5N1 virus ruling the roost, so to speak, in 10 countries just in the first 15 days of the year!
This time the outbreaks of the virus seem to be spreading much faster over a much wider area.
Portugal, Dominica, Israel, Benin, Vietnam, China, West Bengal in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar have all been hit by outbreaks.
On Wednesday, a fourth swan died of the H5N1 virus in the Abbotsbury reserve in Dorset, southern England.
So can this be the year that the dreaded pandemic visits mankind once again?
With the US Presidential election in full swing, will any one pay attention to what could be a vast shadow creeping silently over all of us?
Come to think of it, did any of the Presidential Candidates mention bird flu in any of the debates?
Is it even politically correct to mention the bird flu virus these days?
I mean would the color of the poultry and the birds (other than the totally white British swans) come into play?

Bird-Flu Spreads to 60 Countries in last 3 years!

David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, said on Thursday that the avian influenza virus has been reported in 60 countries in the last three years.

David Nabarro, UN influenza coordinator

According to a UN-World Bank assessment on responses to avian influenza, the H5N1 virus has spread in the last three years, to East Asia and on to locations in North and West Africa, central Europe and as far as Britain.

It said the highly pathogenic HPAI virus was reported in 15 countries in 2005, and H5N1 in at least 55 countries and territories in 2006.

In six countries, including Indonesia, the virus is still enzootic, which means it is continuously present and being passed between poultry.

Additionally, “we have some major anxieties about the extent to which countries’ pandemic preparedness plans are really capable of being operationalized,” Dr. Nabarro said.

“When the pandemic strikes, viruses will not understand borders and they will spread to all countries and all people of the world will be at risk.”

The good news is, that most Goverments are able to mount an increasingly improved defence, in the event of an outbreak of the H5N1 virus.

David Nabarro, said the worldwide responses by most governments have led to improved measures to detect, contain and lessen the impact of dangerous pathogens. He warned, however, that the responses have been unequal and the risk remains that the bird flu virus could mutate into a strand easily transmitted among humans.

The bad news is that “Pathogens are becoming more mobile as a result of increases in international travel and trade, and changes in the ecosystems” according to David Nabarro.

They cause diseases that threaten the health and well being of the entire world population,” Nabaarro said. “The long-term security of the human race requires all nations to prepare together – so that when new disease outbreaks and pandemics do occur, responses will be adequate and meet the needs of all people and not just a fortunate few.”

Sources:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24848&Cr=avian&Cr1=flu

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/150455.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Bird-Flu follows the Super Cyclone in to Bangladesh

A powerful cyclone has hit the coast of Bangladesh, with winds reported to be up to 240 kilometres (155 miles) per hour.

Cyclones are not new to Bangladesh and the authorities face a huge task if they are to prevent a major loss of life.

 

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world: nearly all the country is low lying and vulnerable to flooding.

An estimated 10 million people live in Bangladesh’s coastal areas and there is simply not enough room for all of them in the country’s 500 or more shelters.

If that was not enough, Avian flu has re-emerged in Bangladesh after four months, with five reported new outbreaks in poultry farms across the country since October.

The contagious viral disease was first detected in Bangladesh in March 2007. Since then there have been 55 outbreaks in 19 of the country’s 64 districts.

To halt a further spread of the virus, more than 250,000 chickens have been culled since the original outbreak.

“But indirect losses to farmers far surpass the direct loss,” veterinarian Abul Kalam Azad of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told IRIN in Dhaka, the capital.

Many farms have downsized operations, resulting in significant layoffs and the suspension of business, while producers of poultry feed and farm equipment have also been hard hit.

“The whole US$2 billion industry is in a very nervous state,” Azad explained.

A fresh influx of migratory birds is raising further concerns. Hundreds of thousands of Siberian water fowl arrive in Bangladesh from mid-November, taking refuge in the country’s vast rivers, lakes and marshlands.

“The winter months are likely to see more outbreaks,” ASM Alamgir, a virologist at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, warned.

Risk factors “At 795 persons per square kilometre, Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world.

This close proximity of human beings is a risk element for transmission of any contagious disease like flu,” Nazrul Haq, a member of the government’s technical working group on avian influenza risk, said, adding that the hot and humid environment helps pathogens spread quickly. Further compounding the problem is the prominent role of poultry farming.

Almost all rural households keep chickens as a source of cheap protein, with about 2.4 million rural women depending on backyard chicken farming as their only source of livelihood.

Even well-off families in Bangladesh raise a few chickens to supplement their income. As a result, communicating appropriate bio-security practices such as separating domestic flocks from wild ones, hygienic slaughtering and waste disposal, use of masks while cleaning chicken coops, disinfection before and after working in poultry farms, as well as the use of personal protective equipment is already proving difficult

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7096561.stm

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/2b7c451a508fea8f8a09f9a55cd36b40.htm

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Global Bird-Flu Outbreak Map since 2003

Via ReliefWeb,

from the WHO, a very interesting visual diary of the global spread of the H5N1 virus, since the year 2003.

Map of 'World: Areas Reporting Confirmed Occurrence of H5N1 Avian Influenza in Poultry and Wild Birds Since 2003 (Status as of 27 Sep 2007)'

Click here:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/LCZN-77LL5Y?OpenDocument&RSS20=25-P

For:

Areas Reporting Confirmed Occurrence of H5N1 Avian Influenza in Poultry and Wild Birds Since 2003 (Status as of 27 Sep 2007)