Centrally coordinated control campaign crucial to battle the virus
- neighbouring countries at risk.
FAO warned today that the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus
H5N1 could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to
“The virus may be spreading despite the control measures
already taken,” said Juan Lubroth, senior FAO animal health
“Far more human and animal exposure to the virus will occur
if strict containment does not isolate all known and unknown locations
where the bird flu virus is currently present,” he added.
FAO called upon neighbouring countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Iraq, Iran and Syria to be on high alert, to apply surveillance
and control measures and to ensure that the public is fully informed
about the avian influenza risk.
FAO has sent a team of experts to Turkey to support the authorities
in their bird flu control efforts.
“Turkey needs to apply a centrally coordinated and country-wide
control campaign based on efficient local actions carried out in
a transparent manner. Infected poultry should be reported immediately
and all internationally recommended control measures should be
used in outbreak areas, including humane culling, strict isolation
and, if and when appropriate, vaccination,” Lubroth said.
Veterinary services should have all the necessary political support
and financial means to fully investigate and report any suspicion
of bird flu. They should ensure that poultry owners in regions
most at risk are fully aware of disease symptoms and control measures
All rural communities involved in poultry production need to be
aware of the threat and need to follow good hygienic and agricultural
practices to stop the entry of virus into their poultry flocks
and to avoid human exposure if sickness is detected.
“Immediate reporting by poultry keepers and their community
leaders is the biggest safeguard for people's health status,” Lubroth
The movement of poultry in outbreak areas should cease unless
permitted by veterinarians. The movement of birds as gifts during
the holiday season is considered as a major risk for spreading
Each village should enhance biosecurity and should apply strict
movement control measures to avoid contact between poultry units.
This will greatly support provincial and national control campaigns
and help to prevent the spread of the virus in and between villages,
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