New ictus of H5N1 virus registered in Myanmar

By Margarita Snegireva. A new outbreak of bird flu among chickens was detcted in Myanmar's eastern Shan state, an official and state media said on Saturday.

Authorities confirmed the outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus on Thursday after an unspecified number of chickens had died in Yankham village, 580 kilometres (360 miles) northeast of Yangon , the official said.

"We killed more than 1,000 chickens, and so far found no case of human infection," said the official from the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department in Yangon .

In 2006, According to He Changchui, who works for the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), the bird flu situation in Burma (Myanmar) is much more serious than agencies had imagined. There are over 100 outbreaks in the country, mainly in Mandalay and Sagaing.

The recent outbreaks started on March 13, the first one officially confirmed in Burma since 2004.

He Changchui said it has been difficult to get reliable data as awareness in the country is poor and information is not that comprehensive. He said the country urgently needs assistance from abroad as it has very little scientific equipment and know-how.