Jordan confirms first bird cases of avian flu

Jordan announced on Friday its first bird cases of avian flu in a few turkeys that died on a farm north of the capital Amman.

Health Minister Saeed Darwazeh said tests showed that a few turkeys that had died Thursday on a poultry farm in the town of Ajloun carried the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

People who had contact with the afflicted birds tested negative for the virus, Darwazeh told The Associated Press.

Authorities Thursday gave people living in the Jordan Valley a week to eat their-home raised poultry or risk having it culled, a measure taken after authorities in neighboring Israel and the Palestinian territories found the virus in birds. The also stepped up monitoring of poultry farms in the valley.

Jordan had already banned imports of poultry products and pet birds. It has imported 60,000 doses of Tamiflu, used to treat humans afflicted with H5N1 and allocated $8.5 million (euro7.05 million) to handle a possible outbreak. Most of that would go to vaccinating poultry and compensating owners of destroyed flocks.

Turkey, Iraq and Egypt are the only countries in the region where people have died of the deadly virus. The discovery of afflicted birds in several countries including the three has led to extensive culling, reports the AP.


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