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Bird flu threat puts Tanzania on high alert
www.chinaview.cn 2005-10-22 14:42:14

    DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Tanzania has formed an emergency committee to advise the government on how to respond to a potential outbreak of the bird flu epidemic, according to local reports on Saturday.

    The move was taken in the wake of a United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization warning that the avian flu could be transported to East Africa by migratory birds.

    The committee was given 12 days to recommend preventive measures to the country's health ministry.

    Starting from Wednesday, Tanzania already started banning the imports of poultry products.

    The UN warning said that there is a serious risk that the scenario of a potential spread of the bird flu through migratory birds to northern and eastern Africa may become a reality.

    The East Africa Rift Valley hosts many bird species that re-locate seasonally to and from Europe for hot-wet weather conditions. Birds that migrate to Europe return to the rift valleyduring summer in the southern hemisphere.

    The United Nations issued the warning after the H5N1 strain of virus had been detected in Romania and Turkey earlier this month.

    The virus has ravaged poultry in East Asia and has spread to Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and now eastern Europe.

    The bird flu epidemic is fatal to human beings as it causes deaths if untreated. In 2003, it killed more than 60 people in Asia alone. Enditem

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