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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu in Libya?
December 12, 2005
"Information reaching us has shown that the Benghazi division of the anti-poultry diseases committee has conducted routine checks on the poultry farms in the area, took and thoroughly scrutinised blood samples taken from those farms. They later sent them on October 9 to a special laboratory in the United Kingdom for another lab test.
The result, which came by fax, confirmed that all the samples are positive. This shows the prevalence of the bird flu virus in the eastern part of the country," the Libyan Security Minister, Nasr Al Mabrouk, said in a letter to the prime minister.
The above comments strongly suggest that H5N1 wild bird flu has been in Libya since early October. These results are not unexpected, but extend the number of countries that have delayed reporting H5N1 in Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. Migration to those areas from Siberia was expected. Some countries, such as Turkey, Romania, Croatia, and the Ukraine have filed OIE reports confirming the presence of H5N1 wild bird flu. However, even in those countries, local residents report bird deaths months before reports are filed.
The Romania reports included dead swans. Which have been said to have been dying since August. Similar reports of dead swans in the Volga Delta region were reported, although official denials of H5N1 infections had been made in media reports. The early reports have been bolstered an increases in the number of recent H5N1 confirmed deaths in these regions. Similarly. The Ukraine has acknowledged H5N1 on the Crimea peninsula and local residents indicate birds have been dying for months.
These confirmed delayed reports casts serious doubts on the lack of reports from adjacent countries as well as citations of large numbers of negative tests.
The latest report from Libya adds to the evidence that monitoring of H5N1 in Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa remain scandalously poor.