By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 15 March 2014:
The first recorded case of H5N1 bird flu in Libya has been reported in Tobruk, a Ministry . . .[restrict]of Agriculture official has said.
National Centre of Animal Health official Abdul Wahab Kamoun told the Libya Herald that the single case was reported and diagnosed by veterinarians on Wednesday but that no further instances of the disease had been found.
Kamoun added that the one bird in question, a chicken, had been destroyed and that preliminary investigations into surrounding breeding pens, from which 54 samples have been taken, all returned negative results.
A team from the National Centre of Animal Health has arrived in Tobruk today to do more tests. Kamoun said that the situation was well under control and there was no need for panic.
The infected chicken is known to have been raised in Libya. It is possible, however, that the virus may have been transmitted from Egypt which has been referred to as an “epicentre” for H5N1 by a recent US study.
H5N1 is a particularly infectious strain of bird flu which has killed millions of poultry around the world. It has also caused global concern as a potential pandemic threat. Medical researchers fear that the strain could mutate, creating a new influenza strain that is easily transmitted and potentially lethal to humans.