Source: XINHUA | 2012-12-26 | ONLINE EDITION
DHAKA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's authorities decided to destroy 150,000 birds and 300,000 eggs as the season's major outbreak of bird flu was detected last week in a firm in Gazipur, outskirts of capital Dhaka, officials said Wednesday.
A field level official of Bangladesh's Fisheries and Live Stock Department told Xinhua from Gazipur that "Since Dec. 23 more than 100,000 birds have been culled."
The official who preferred to be unnamed said, "Nearly 250,000 eggs have also been destroyed."
"We're going to cull and destroy another about 50,000 birds and about 50,000 eggs by next few days."
He said culling process is taking time as they are breeding birds each weighing 45 kg which were reared in the commercial farm for the production of hatching eggs.
Md Giasuddin, in charge of the National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, told Xinhua that "Bird flu has been confirmed in a flock of about 150,000 hens in a commercial farm of Gazipur last week."
"We've asked for culling all the birds and destroying all the eggs at the earliest," he said.
According to officials, risky factors of bird flu disease usually rise with the fall in temperature during January and February in Bangladesh.
The South Asian country is considered a high-risk nation with respect to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) as the impoverished state of over about 153 million people is especially vulnerable to virus perpetuation because of insufficient biosecurity, rearing of chickens and ducks together, selling of live birds, and deficient disease surveillance.
In the backdrop of the season's major outbreak, Bangladesh's Fisheries and Live Stock Department has strengthened its surveillance to contain further spread of the infectious disease -- H5N1.
"We're well prepared to contain outbreak of the disease," said Mosaddique Hossain, chief veterinary officer.
He said restriction has been imposed even on human movement in the poultry firm surrounding areas.
"We've strengthened surveillance as Gazipur is home to many of the country's largest poultry farms," he said, adding steps have already been taken for decontamination and prevention of bird flu in the affected farm surrounding one km areas.
"We've instructed our field level officials for proper culling, destruction, disposal and decontamination immediately after diagnosis," he said.
Official said they have also asked the authorities concerned for more vigilance at the border entry points as there are reports of bird flu outbreak in some neighboring countries including Nepal and India.
Bangladesh's poultry farmers during winter season in 2009 and 2010 had suffered to some extent from the outbreak of the disease.
The disease was first detected in Bangladesh in a poultry farm near capital Dhaka in March 2007.
The situation deteriorated later on as the virus spread fast across the country which was reported in 47 districts between December 2007 and March 2008.
The first bird flu in human body in Bangladesh was detected on May 21, 2008. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States diagnosed a 16-month-old Bangladesh child as being infected with H5N1, who later recovered.