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Myanmar Declares Herself As A Country Free of Bird flu

A three-month detection program in Myanmar has found no new cases of bird flu in the impoverished Southeast Asian country.//

The country of Myanmar has declared a victory over bird flu with no new outbreaks of the deadly virus detected since April last year, according to the official media report that has been. Yangon notified the world animal health body OIE on Monday it was free of the H5N1 virus, which first emerged in central Myanmar in March.

According to reports thousands of chickens and quail were destroyed on hundreds of farms in the central Sagaing and Mandalay Divisions after the first outbreak on March 8. The foreign experts were also allowed into the highly secretive military-ruled country so that they could help in conducting the surveillance programme against the disease that had been endemic in many parts of Asia.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had announced that it has noted Yangon's declaration. Laurence Gleeson, head of the FAO's bird flu centre in Bangkok, said, “FAO will continue to manage international donor support to strengthen the surveillance and response system in Myanmar both to confirm and preserve this freedom from bird flu.”

The FAO has however cautioned that fresh outbreaks of the virus in neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Laos since July only go to show as to just how easily the virus can re-emerge. It was explained that in Vietnam, authorities had drawn much criticism in 2004 for announcing the virus had been stamped out only to see it rise again a few months later.

The H5N1 virus has been reported to kill at least 141 people worldwide since late 2003. Scientists and experts around the worlds are of the fear that it could mutate into forms that could jump between people causing a global pandemic.

No human case of the virus has been found in, but H5N1 has killed at least 141 people worldwide since late 2003. Scientists fear it could mutate into a form that jumps easily between people and trigger a global pandemic.

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