- (Reuters) -- Cameroon became the 4th
country in Africa to report an outbreak of bird flu, after the disease
was detected in young chicks in the West African country's northernmost
- "The 1st case of bird flu has been
detected in the Far North province," the government said in a statement
read on state radio.
- "The case was detected after laboratory
tests conducted on dead chicks in Maroua (in Far North province) were positive,"
- The statement did not specify whether
the outbreak was of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza strain,
which has already been confirmed in domestic poultry flocks in Nigeria,
Niger and Egypt.
- Cameroon's Far North province borders
to the west with Nigeria, where Africa's 1st outbreak of H5N1 bird flu
was confirmed on 8 Feb 2006.
- As the disease spreads in Africa, international
experts are concerned that the world's poorest continent, already saddled
with HIV/AIDS and malaria, is ill-equipped to combat this new health threat.
- Suspected poultry outbreaks in Ethiopia,
Gabon, Gambia and Sierra Leone are already under investigation.
- Health officials are concerned that infection
across Africa, where millions live in close contact with poultry in their
homes and backyards, will increase the probability that the virus will
mutate to become transmissible between humans.
- (On the east, the affected province borders
Chad, see map at http://www.supertravelnet.com/maps/index.php? action=showmap&country=129_0_4&language=1
- In another newswire, kindly forwarded
by Joe Dudley, the infected species in northern Cameroon was, reportedly,
a duck; see http://www.chinapost.com.tw/i_latestdetail.asp?id=36347.
- Official firsthand data and final laboratory
results are anticipated. - Mod.AS)