Bird flu now in 138 rural areas across Egypt: Min. of Agriculture
An epidemiological map for bird flu - Reuters

CAIRO: “The Ministry of Agriculture has reported an increase in the number of areas reportedly infected with the bird flu (H5N1) to 138 in rural areas since the beginning of 2014,” head of the preventive medicine at the General Authority for Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture Soheir Abdel Kader said Friday.

“So far the infection was reported in 20 governorates,” she said. “Chairman of the General Authority for Veterinary Services Osama Selim gave orders to  continue the awareness campaigns in all Egypt’s governorates, ensure the farms’ biosafety certification, and take all required measures in case the authority receives any complaints.”

Kader said the authority is coordinating with all the Directorates of Veterinary Medicine, the central laboratory within the Ministry of Agriculture, and all directorates to form an investigative committee in poultry farms and areas where the disease can spread.

The government launched massive awareness campaigns for farmers about the disease and its dangers. The campaign aims to educate about ways to control the spread,  Kader said and when any case reported in specific place, at least a 10-km around disease foci should immediately be cordoned and immunized.

According to a report issued by the Preventive Medicine of the General Authority for Veterinary Services,  a total of 14 poultry farms were reported to be free of the H5N1 virus. They were subjected to poultry farms rehabilitation program based on the conditions prescribed by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

In April, Chairman of the Peasants Authority in Beheira demanded the Minister of Agriculture launch medical committees to investigate the negligence of veterinarian medicine, which led to the spread of avian influenza and other diseases, El-Wady News reported.

Kader said the administration has many modern laboratories, including the National Laboratory for Livestock Control, specialized in investigating all kinds of viruses in Cairo and other governorates. It was the first lab in Egypt that diagnosed the avian influenza virus H5N1 in 2006.

Dozens in Egypt have suffered from avian influenza, commonly known as the bird flu, and more than 60 people died since the disease first reached Egypt in 2006, according to the Central Administration of Preventive Medicine.

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