Unidentified Birds Raise Avian Flu Fears
Integrated Regional Information Networks
Posted to the web November 25, 2006
of unidentified birds have been found dead in a village in the Middle Shabelle
region, south-central Somalia, raising fears of an outbreak of avian flu in
the country, according to local sources in the regional capital Jowhar, 90
km north of the national capital, Mogadishu.
birds arrived in the village of Eil Baraf [50 km dead north of Jowhar] 10
days ago, » said Muhammad Ibrahim Malimow, a local resident. « They
looked like ducks, so no one paid them any attention until they started dying. »
this raised fears among the locals who « raised the alarm ».
to specialists, migratory birds play an important role in the spread of the
deadly H5N1 flu virus.
Ali, a veterinarian of the Somali Animal Health Service Project, who went
to Eil Baraf to investigate, told IRIN that « the birds all had tags with
Orint. Institute, Zagreb Croatia on them, which tells us that they were migratory
birds from that country. »
by the time his team got to the village the birds were decomposing, « and
would not lend themselves to proper examination so we burned them to avoid
the possibility of spreading anything ».
that so far there were no indications to suggest they may have infected the
local birds with anything.
have asked the villagers to report any changes in their domestic birds and
so far nothing. We are also appealing to other nearby villages to do likewise, »
like the rest of Somalia, is suffering from flooding that has displaced hundreds
of thousands of people after torrential rain swelled rivers, submerging hundreds
of villages in a country without much infrastructure after 16 years of civil
said that many residents are worried that the birds may have brought « any
new and unknown disease into the country. People are already suffering. »