Bird Flu Reported In
Israel, Pakistan, Czech,
Denmark, India

New Outbreak Of Deadly H5N1 Strain Near Jerusalem
By Amiram Cohen
Haaretz Daily
Authorities are to oversee culling Wednesday [29 Mar 2006] of 30 000 chickens at Kibbutz Ma'aleh Hahamisha near Jerusalem, one day after the deadly strain of the bird flu virus was confirmed there.
At midday on Tuesday [28 Mar 2006], an abnormal death rate of poultry was noted, and samples sent to the veterinary laboratories in Bet Dagan confirmed with near certainty the presence of the H5N1 strain.
The Agriculture Ministry's veterinary services made preparations to cull the poultry. The culling is to begin on Wednesday [29 Mar 2006] morning. The chiefs of the veterinary services and agriculture ministry have met to discuss the complete destruction of all poultry within a 3-km radius from the affected site. It is unclear whether culling in surrounding areas will take place. The Jerusalem corridor is home to many moshavim in which poultry growing is a primary source of income.
Ma'aleh Hahamisha is the 14th location in Israel where the bird flu virus has been found [sic; should read 8th. 14 probably refers to the number of locations where poultry was culled. - Mod.AS]. After the virus had spread to Gaza and Jordan, the agriculture ministry issued a warning of a potential recurrence in Israel. A main danger is an outbreak in villages of the western Negev, adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Poultry farmers have already been compensated for 50 per cent of the direct economic damage done to them by the culling. At the same time, the Agriculture Ministry is preparing a report on collateral harm inflicted by the flu outbreak. The ministry estimates that the direct damage done to the poultry growers is NIS 24 million [USD 5.11 million]. The growers themselves estimate a greater damage of NIS 30-40 million.
Roy Klieger, chief of the wildlife supervision department in the Agriculture Ministry, said that the culling and burial of fowl will be completed [on 29 Mar 2006].
Ma'aleh Hahamisha is about 10 km north west of Jerusalem. Map: (go to square 9).
According to the website, this outbreak occurred in a broiler breeder farm (40 weeks of age). The (initial) mortality rate was very low (40 out of 30 000 birds in 6 buildings). The preliminary initial H5 diagnosis and its confirmation as H5N1 were obtained by PCR at the Kimron Veterinary Institute, Beit Dagan.
The disease spread is rather puzzling; the location is not adjacent to previous outbreaks, and being a breeder farm, biosecurity is expected to be of high standard. Information on the possible source of infection will be welcomed.
The evolution of the H5N1 outbreak in Israel might be of interest to other countries with similarly dense, intensive poultry industry. In particular, it will be interesting to see whether the non-vaccination policy is maintained if additional outbreaks occur. - Mod.AS
Pakistan - Wild Bird And Poultry Cases Suspected
Pajhwak Afghan News
Over 100 dead chickens [and other] birds in Bamyan district [Punjab] have raised residents' concerns about the possible outbreak of bird flu in this central province.
Abbas, from Punjab district, told Pajhwok Afghan News: "Over dozens of crows are dead in Dahangaw village, while many chickens [died] in Asatian village. A cat also [died] after eating a dead bird that [had shown] the symptoms of bird flu," he added.
Scores of wild migratory birds had been found dead in the Ghosak area, he said, adding that the white birds had arrived here in Nawroz days [during Nawroz festival days. - Copy editor.MSP]. He said people in the area were concerned about the possible outbreak of bird flu.
Confirming the finding of the dead birds in Punjab district, Provincial Public Health director Dr Ihsanullah Shahir said: "It cannot be ascertained what is the reason behind the death of the chickens; if it is influenza, we don't have facilities for diagnosing bird flu." He said they had told people to avoid chicken meat. About 2 weeks earlier, many dead birds had been found in a pool in the outskirts of Bamyan city; people since then had stopped using water from that pool.
Bamyan is in Central Afghanistan, Latitude 34.8167, Longitude 67.8167 Map at
This (rather blurred) news item reflects deficient animal health infrastructure. Hopefully, samples will be taken and sent to a reference laboratory. - Mod.AS
Czech Republic Swan With H5N1 Confirmed
(Reuters) -- Tests at a UK-based EU reference laboratory have confirmed a dead swan found in the Czech Republic had the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus, the Czech State Veterinary Authority said on Wednesday [28 Mar 2006].
It is the 1st confirmed H5N1 case in the Czech Republic. The swan was found last week in Hluboka nad Vltavou in the south of the Czech Republic. All of the central European country's neighbors -- Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia -- have reported H5N1 cases in dead birds
EU Confirms H5N1 Bird Flu In Denmark
(AFP) -- The European Union's reference laboratory in Britain has confirmed the 1st of 12 cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in Denmark, according to the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research.
A wild buzzard, which was found dead in mid-March 2006 in Svinoe Strand, south of Copenhagen, carried the same strain of the virus that has previously been found in Germany and Poland. Denmark has reported 12 cases of H5N1 bird flu so far.
The EU laboratory in Weybridge said it trusted Denmark's laboratory testing facilities, and therefore the country did not need to send samples of the other infected birds for confirmation. "We are pleased, and this speeds up the virus identification process in Denmark, since we are no longer required to send our tests (to Britain) and wait for days for the final confirmation," institute director Jan Mousing told AFP.
The identification of H5N1 by the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in 11 of the 14 H5-positive tested wild birds was reported by Denmark to the OIE in follow-up report No. 1, sent on 24 Mar 2006, which can be seen at
The latest news about avian influenza detected in wild birds in Denmark (including maps of the established protection and surveillance zones) can be accessed on the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration's website:
Denmark's timely and comprehensive reports on the infected wild birds, including their scientific names and mapped locations, are exemplary. - Mod.AS
India - Bird Flu Hits Madhya Pradesh, Icchapur Tests Positive
By Suchandana Gupta
The Times Of India Online
From Jalgaon to Icchapur, the avian flu has crossed the state borders of Maharashtra and entered Madhya Pradesh. At 3 p.m. on Tuesday [28 Mar 2006], the state government received a fax from the Center confirming that the dreaded H5N1 virus had spread to yet another state.
A report from Mumbai said that for the 3rd time in the last 2 months, the H5N1 virus has been detected in chickens in Maharashtra. On Tuesday [28 Mar 2006], the Center told state and Jalgaon district officials that the virus had been detected in 6 new pockets of Jalgaon district. The new areas Erandol, Uttran, Bhadgaon, Parola, Varad and Paladhi are located close to the 4 villages of Jalgaon district where the bird flu virus was earlier detected. For the state government, the news was not unexpected, as it had made all arrangements for a culling operation about 10 days back over such fears.
A sample from Icchapur village, Burhanpur district, bordering Maharashtra tested positive for bird flu, triggering a panic and forcing the administration to ban movement of birds and animals from Burhanpur district. Even movement of people was restricted.
ProMed Mail
The above newswire does not specify the animal species affected nor the evidence of the disease reporting. An official confirmation, or otherwise, is anticipated; the last official report from India was sent to the OIE on 8 Mar 2006: It addressed the outbreaks in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
A map of Madhya Pradesh is available at
Bird Die-Off In Nepal
Hundreds of wild birds including crows and doves have died at a village of Kapilvastu district in western Nepal over the past few days. Locals fear it could be a bird flu epidemic.
"Birds were found dead at jungle and farmed areas over the past 3 days," said Nityananda Poudel, a local resident. "Jackals and dogs are feeding on them, which is making us more anxious."
The District Vet Office said it was investigating the cause behind the deaths of wild birds at Dabara village of Buddhi VDC in Kapilvastu district. It was not in a position to confirm or rule out the possibility of avian influenza. Hundreds of wild and domesticated birds had died in the far-western district of Kailali and in the eastern district of Saptari a few days back. The concerned authorities have not, however, confirmed a single case of bird flu in Nepal.
Kapilvastu (other names: Piprahwa, Taulia, Taulihaw) is situated on
Nepal's (southern) border with India, Lat 27.5333, Long 83.0500, map at
Information on the cause of the described bird mortality would be appreciated. - Mod.AS



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