7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Bird flu risk is low in summer

PRECAUTIONS against bird flu are continuing as normal during the summer months although the virus is expected to be dormant during this period, according to a government official.

Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry animal wealth director Dr Salman Abdulnabi said hot temperatures kill the virus and that the last incidents reported were in Egypt and Djibouti about a month ago.

"We don't expect any more (cases) in the summer, especially in the Middle East where temperatures are so high," he said.

"Despite this our precautions are continuing at the King Fahad Causeway, the Bahrain International Airport and other entry points into the country.

"Nothing has changed as far as our work is concerned because we have to be ready just in case."

The authorities are also visiting farms to ensure that they are following hygienic practices and vaccinating their birds.

But the world is not out of the woods yet and there is still danger of a Bird Flu outbreak when the winter months return, mainly because of migrating birds that are impossible to control.

"Who knows what will happen in the winter? We could have fewer incidents or it could be higher than before," continued Mr Abdulnabi.

"The birds have all flown North for the winter, which means they are currently in the colder winter temperatures of Europe, where the virus could be spreading as we speak.

"When they begin migrating South again to Africa, they will pass by the Gulf and Middle East and we could have incidents here, depending on how affected they are by the virus."

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