Thursday, February 16, 2006
The European Union is to ban the import of all untreated feathers, in the latest attempt to control the spread of outbreaks of the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu in wild birds that is intensifying around and within Europe’s borders.
....Commission officials, speaking ahead of a meeting of the EU’s food chain and animal health committee which begins today, said feathers were a “risk product”, while acknowledging that the trade was modest and the duration of the ban remained unclear.
The blanket ban from third countries follows a block last month on untreated feathers imported from Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Syria, neighbours of Turkey where at least 12 human deaths have been reported alongside animal infection.
Can you get bird flu from feathers? I thought it had to be contact with avian blood and guts.
And from the same story comes this news:
The World Health Organisation says that the H5N1 virus is at the third of six stages in its pandemic plan, with a new subtype causing disease in humans, but not yet spreading efficiently and sustainably among humans. To date, just 91 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the virus, from 169 identified as infected.
Who knew that viruses planned such things?
Meanwhile, in Africa, the virus continues to spread, but only in birds:
No human cases of bird flu have been found in Africa, although Nigeria chicken farmers are being screened.
Thousands of chickens have been dying in Nigeria for more than a month.
All four confirmed cases of bird flu have been linked to a single farm in northern Nigeria, said Agriculture Minister Adamu Bello.
None of the workers on the farm have shown any signs of illness.
posted by Sydney on 2/16/2006 09:18:00 AM 0 comments