Cook well, eat well, be well!
The H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 1997 and it first appeared in Pakistan around two years ago. According to experts, in its present form bird flu is transmitted only through people having contact with infected birds. At least 208 people died from the virus in 2007, including Pakistan’s first case confirmed by health officials.
Hundreds of birds at a poultry farm in the Gadap area of the city were culled on Friday Feb.1st, 2008 following confirmation of reports of an outbreak of bird flu in Karachi. Personnel of the poultry and livestock and agriculture departments of the provincial and city governments killed the birds and buried them in a dry well in a farm on the instructions of Sindh Poultry Director Dr Ali Akbar Soomro.
Dr Soomro said that the culling was the first of its kind in the province over the past three years. The owners claimed that over 10,000 birds had died and the number increased to 12,000 after Friday’s culling. However, livestock officials said 4,000-4,500 birds had died over the past week.
Dr Soomro said that it had been established that bird flu virus prevailed in the environment of Gadap and warned that there were chances of a further spread if adequate precautionary measures were not taken by field officers, surveillance teams and poultry farmers.
Due to the bird flu threats, a number of Lahories started visiting the University of veterinary and animal sciences lahore (UVAS) along with their pet animals. So the UVAS Diagnostic Laboratories director Prof Dr Masood Rabbani said, “We have tested a number of animals and birds in our labs but did not find a single bird flu case so far in Lahore.” Alhumdolillah, so please, Cook well, eat well and be well!