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H5N1 Confirmed in Dead Crows in Bangladesh

Recombinomics Commentary 11:59
January 26, 2008

Our Patuakhali correspondent on Wednesday reported that around 150 crows in Patuakhali town died in last consecutive two days. Locals and district livestock officials said the birds died in Puran Bazar of town. Two dead birds were sent to Barisal and Dhaka on Tuesday to ascertain the cause of death. On Thursday evening lab reports revealed that the crows died of bird flu.

The above comments confirm H5N1 in dead crows in Patuakhali in southern Bangladesh (see satellite map), the location of confirmed H5N1 in poultry.  Similarly large numbers of dead crows are also found in northern Bangladesh, in Dinajpir, where H5N1 has been confirmed in poultry near the West Bengal border (see satellite map),  like earlier reports in Birbhum and Murshidabad.  Both of these regions are near the Bangladesh border and have reported cullers with bird flu symptoms and dead goats with pneumonia symptoms.

However, West Bengal has not reported H5N1 in the dead crows, has reported negative data for the cullers, and hasn’t mentioned the hundreds of dead goats in Birbhum and Murshidabad.

The deaths and lack of testing or reporting H5N1 remains a cause for concern.  H5N1 results on a teal that died of pneumonia a few miles from H5N1 confirmed poultry in Howrah on the outskirts of Calcutta has not been reported.

The control of reported H5N1 in both Bangladesh and West Bengal relies heavily on limited testing.  Official reports of no new reports of birds dying or no H5N1 positives simply reflect the failure to report the birds, collect samples, or test samples.

H5N1 in both countries is significantly greater than reports on confirmed cases, and the limited testing and reporting remain a cause for concern, as H5N1 spreads beyond the borders of both countries.

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