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Zambia on bird flu high alert
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-10 23:23:29

    LUSAKA, Dec. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Zambia is on high alert following reports that avian influenza was found at two ostrich farms in neighboring Zimbabwe.

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Victor Mukonka said here Saturday that safeguard measures have been enhanced to ensure the avian flu is prevented from spreading into Zambia.

    He said personnel at border entry points, particularly those shared by Zimbabwe, have been instructed not to allow any poultry products out and into Zambia.

    He said presently relevant government ministries, departments and other functionaries were working together to prevent the spread of the bird flu into Zambia and to consider measures to mitigate the presence of the flu if detected in the country.

    Mukonka warned that Zambia is at great risk of encountering bird flu because migratory birds, which are agents of the flu, are expected to fly southwards into Zambia.

    Zimbabwe on Thursday suspended all export of poultry products after avian influenza was found at two ostrich farms in the south of the country.

    Government veterinary director Stuart Hargreaves said tests at two farms in the southern Matabeleland province had confirmed the existence of the H5N2 variant of avian flu in ostriches.

    As a result, he said all ostrich farms in the country had been placed under quarantine, and exports of all poultry products suspended.

    He said the disease, which has wrecked havoc in Asia and Europe, had not yet been found in chickens.

    Zimbabwe set up a high-level government task force after the avian flu outbreak in Asia, to raise public awareness of the disease and to mobilize resources to tackle an outbreak in the country. Enditem 

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