By Gavin Gibbon
Ministry has killed 22,700 birds at poultry farm in central Sudair region
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has moved to allay fears over the discovery of bird flu in the kingdom.
The ministry said the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus that was discovered at a poultry farm in Saudi Arabia is not contagious to humans and is a different strain to the one found in Vietnam (H5N6) this week.
The outbreak, which was identified in the central Sudair region of Saudi Arabia, killed 22,700 birds, according to a report from the Saudi agriculture ministry
A further 385,300 birds in the flock were slaughtered.
The ministry announced the discovery on Twitter, but moved quickly to allay any fears. It said: “The virus currently registered in the Kingdom is H5N8, and it affects birds only. It is also different from that registered in the country of Vietnam (H5N6), which infects birds and may be transmitted to humans.”
سجلت الوزارة إصابة بمرض إنفلونزا الطيور H5N8 في أحد مشاريع الدواجن في منطقة الرياض، وتمكنت فرق الطوارئ من السيطرة على بؤرة الإصابة.
وفقاً لمنظمة الصحة العالمية (WHO)،فهذا المرض يصيب الطيور ولا ينتقل للإنسان، وهذه العترة تم تسجيلها في المملكة نهاية 2017م، وتمت السيطرة عليها. pic.twitter.com/DwxIwYyOXv— المتحدث الرسمي لوزارة البيئة (@MEWAspokesman) February 4, 2020
It is the first outbreak of the H5N8 virus in Saudi Arabia since July 2018.
The H5N6 case in Vietnam was discovered in a village in the northern part of the country, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The virus was detected in a flock of 3,000 birds in the village of Duc Yen and directly killed 2,200, the report said.