Bird Flu in 14 Provinces

Bird Flu in  14 ProvincesBird Flu in  14 Provinces

The bird flu outbreak has spread to 14 provinces in the country, said Deputy Health Minister Ali Akbar Sayyari on Wednesday.

“There is still no case of human avian flu, but the risk remains, so people should avoid purchasing free-range eggs and fresh chicken [not produced in poultry farms],” he said at a press conference at the Health Ministry, IRNA reported.

The ministry is taking stringent measures to inspect poultry farms across the country to ensure that all marketed products are safe to consume.

H5N8, a dangerous strain of the bird or avian flu virus, was first detected in seven provinces late November. It then spread to 11 other provinces, namely Markazi, Alborz, Qom, East Azarbaijan, West Azarbaijan, Kermanshah, Mazandaran, Golestan, Gilan, Lorestan and Tehran, forcing chicken farmers to cull thousands of infected birds.

Different strains of bird flu have been spreading across Europe and Asia since late last year, leading to large-scale slaughtering of poultry in some countries. France, which has the largest poultry flock in the European Union, has also reported outbreaks of the H5N8 virus.

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