Bulgaria Culls Fowls in Bird-Flu-Hit Area

Politics | July 21, 2006, Friday // 00:00| Views: 2121 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria Culls Fowls in Bird-Flu-Hit Area Teams are working at full throttle to disinfect the area around the village of Slanchgled, Kardzhali region, where a bird flu outbreak was detected July 20. Photo by BTA

Bulgarian authorities have spent the night exterminating fowls as the whole country was shocked to learn Thursday that an avian flu outspread has been detected at a farm in the southern village of Slanchogled.

This is the first such case in the Balkan country and the Agriculture Ministry is now struggling to kill all the fowls in the region before the virus spreads any further. It is still unknown whether the bird flu is of the deadly H5N1 strain, but until the rest results are in on Monday, a total of 480 birds will have to be put to death.

Doctors and general practitioners in the area are at a high alert, ready to report any suspicious cases of patients with avian flu symptoms, but so far there is no indication that the virus has spread to people as well. However, blood samples of five of the village's residents will be tested along with the samples taken from the infected fowls.

Massive disinfection is under way in the whole area and tightened control on passing trucks and vehicles is installed, Agriculture Minister Nihat Kabil has announced. He added all farmers whose fowl was culled will be compensated.

The information on the bird flu situation was conferred to Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, President Georgi Parvanov, Disasters Management Minister Emel Etem, and Health Minister Radoslav Gaydarski, their agriculture colleague also said.
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