Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birds [sic] flu found in market near Saudi capital-report

This is truly scary stuff. Bird flu infected birds are starting to make it into the food supplies. Its bad enough a few families might eat home grown birds with the flu, but this is a public market.

Thank god this was discovered before the annual haj in Mecca.
Bird flu has been found in birds at a poultry market on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Al-Watan newspaper carried photographs of an agriculture ministry team in masks and white coats in the Aziziya market south of Riyadh, saying bird flu cases had been found there. It was not clear what strain of bird flu had been detected.

The discovery comes just a few weeks before nearly 2 million faithful arrive for the annual haj pilgrimage season in Mecca.

Arab News said birds had been culled in the area after four cases of bird flu were found during a random inspection.

Agriculture and health ministry officials were not available for comment.

Saudi authorities last week culled 50,000 birds at a poultry farm in al-Kharj, 150 km (94 miles) south of Riyadh, after 1,500 birds died of unspecified causes.

Officials said this week 220,000 birds have been culled so far, as teams combed other areas near the capital which has a population of around 4 million.

Via Reuters.

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