Bird flu prompts cull in north-west Pakistan
Authorities have culled nearly 2,000 broiler chickens following confirmation of a fresh outbreak of avian influenza in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), media reports said Monday.
The culling was carried out in the Swabi district on Sunday after samples taken at a poultry farm tested positive for deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu at a laboratory in the capital Islamabad, English-language The News daily said.
Two-third of the birds at the farm, which had more than 6,000 chickens, died during the last few days while the rest were killed and buried under the supervision of local authorities and UN's World Health Organization staff, reported dpa.
According to the newspaper, people settled within a three-kilometre radius of the farm had been put under observation to monitor possible bird-to-human transmission.
The News said another farm in the proximity of the infected facility had also been sealed off, and health officials posted at various checkpoints were examining birds being transported out of Swabi district.
Pakistan's poultry population has seen multiple outbreaks of the H5N1 strain since 2006, with almost 80 outbreaks taking place last year.
The first human-to-human transmission of bird flu in Pakistan was reported last November in the NWFP capital Peshawar, where a man passed on the deadly virus to two of his brothers, one of whom died.