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Extensive H5N1 Spread in Bangladesh

Recombinomics Commentary 22:56
March 6, 2008

More 15,783 chickens were culled and 19,402 eggs were destroyed in Sylhet, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Jessore in the last two days.

With the culling, total number of culled chicken reached 1,239,093 while the number of destroyed eggs stands at 1,548,015 in the last 13 months since avian influenza was detected in the country.

The above comments describe recent H5N1 culling in Bangladesh.  However, the H5N1 spread and culling have been increasing at a dramatic level in the past month.  The Ministry of Fish and Livestock report of March 5 detailed culling of 405 farms since the outbreak began 13 months ago.  One month ago the number of culled farms was at 175, so more culling was done in the past month than the prior year.  The culling was widespread and involved most of the 46 districts positive for H5N1 since the start of the outbreak
(see satelite maps here here here).

While H5N1 was dramatically spreading in Bangladesh, neighboring West Bengal maintained that H5N1 was under control and there were no new outbreaks after an extensive culling was conducted in most of the west Bengal districts.

Many of the outbreaks in Bangladesh were in areas border West Bengal and involved both poultry and resident wild birds which were H5N1 confirmed.  The lack of transmission of H5N1 across the border by the wild birds seems unlikely.

The sharp differences between H5N1 in the adjacent regions raise serious transparency issues.

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