Infectious Diseases 2007

Infectious Diseases 2007

Saudi Arabia: Avian Influenza identified in a poultry market

20 November, 2007

A poultry market in the Aziziyah district of Riyadh was cordoned off after inspectors identified four cases of Avian Influenza there yesterday during a random inspection.

An emergency team, assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture to control the virus, cordoned the market off. The team comprises officials from the police, the municipality, the ministries of health and agriculture and the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWD).
“There are 85 poultry shops in this market and each will have a minimum of 1,000 birds. The team plans to cull the birds and disinfect the whole area to stop the virus from spreading,” said Soliman Al-Buthi, general manager of the Environmental Health Department at the Riyadh Municipality.
He added that municipality is working with the emergency team to tackle the problem. Al-Buthi stressed that the situation is under control and called on members of the public to help the authorities tackle the problem.
According to a statement issued yesterday by Muhammad Al-Sheha, undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, the authorities have so far culled 222,000 birds in Al-Kharj, Durma, Muzamiyah and Al-Hayati.
Avian Influenza was discovered earlier this year in peacocks, turkeys and parrots at a house in the east of the Kingdom. This led to a number of birds in the area being destroyed. The recent outbreak of the disease has led to poultry farm workers being examined by Ministry of Health doctors. All workers have so far tested negative.
“Farm workers were brought to hospitals in their respective regions and were examined for Avian Influenza. Clinical examinations revealed that none of them had Avian Influenza,” Khaled Al-Mirghalani, Ministry of Health spokesman, told Arab News yesterday. “We have given flu vaccinations to all those who were tested,” he added.
Al-Mirghalani said that the Kingdom has adequate stock of Tamiflu tablets for use in case of emergencies. He added that there are no vaccinations against Avian Influenza and Tamiflu tablets are administered as a treatment (ArabNews).