H5N1 Outbreaks Reported in Bangladesh

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported two outbreaks of the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus in Bangladesh.

Unlike H5N8, the H5N1 strain can infect humans if they are in close contact with infected live or dead birds.

The first case was reported from a farm in Dhamrai, just outside of the capital Dhaka. There were approximately 3,000 Sonali chickens in the farm – 732 died directly from the virus while the rest were slaughtered.

Another case was found in a village in the Western district of Rajshahi where 450 backyard poultry died from the virus.

“There is no reason to panic, (but) people should inform us if they see birds that are dying,” a senior health ministry official from Bangladesh said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization urged all countries to be vigilant as the highly pathogenic virus continues to plague Europe and Asia. The virus has also claimed human lives in China.

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