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Friday, February 03, 2012 - 5.08 GMT

No bird flu threat in Sri Lanka


Health authorities have assured that the death of a large number of fowls earlier at a chicken farm in Bingiriya in the North Western Province is not due to bird flu and there is no cause for concern.

Director General of the Department of Animal Products and Health Dr. Kumara de Silva at a media briefing yesterday said the infection of the chickens in the particular farm was not due to the deadly H5N1 strain.

"This is not H5N1 infection. If it was H5N1, all the fowls would have died within three days," Dr. de Silva said.

The official said following the discovery of infection an extensive investigation has been carried out and a number of tests were done.

He asserted that there is no epidemic situation in Sri Lanka and there is no reason to fear consuming chicken or eggs as a result of this incident.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health issued a warning on Wednesday that there may be a threat of avian (bird) flu after a large number of fowl had died of an apparent infection at a farm in Bingiriya, Kurunegala in the North Western Province.

The Ministry has alerted that one of the dead birds had the symptoms of bird flu.

The Additional Director General of the Department has reportedly confirmed that the fowl deaths were due to Avian Influenza caused by a strain less lethal than the potentially deadly H5N1 strain.

The virus that infect the birds can mutate to infect humans and people handling poultry are at increased risk of contracting the disease.





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Last modified: February 03, 2012.

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