This is a scary example of how important education is in pandemic preparedness. One region where education is lacking COULD come back to haunt all of us.
India faces bird flu 'disaster'
By Sailendra Sil in Kolkata
January 22, 2008 08:12pm
INDIA'S worst ever outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu could turn into a disaster, an official warned, as five people were reportedly quarantined with symptoms of the virus.
Eight districts in the eastern state of West Bengal have been hit by the virus, with dead birds being sold to locals who are said to be "feasting" on cheap chicken.
The state's animal resources minister, Anisur Rahaman, said authorities were "determined to cull all poultry in the districts in three or four days, otherwise the state will face a disaster".
More than 100,000 bird deaths have been reported, and teams are racing to cull two million chickens and ducks.
The Times of India reported five people in West Bengal have been quarantined with "clinical symptoms" of avian flu - including fever, coughing, sore throats and muscle aches - after handling affected poultry.
If the tests are positive for H5N1, this will be the first case of human infection in India, home to 1.1 billion people and hit by bird flu among poultry three times since 2006.
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