Risk of bird flu reaching Spain 'greatest from Africa'

13th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 February 2006, MADRID — All bird imports and avian products coming from Morocco are to be banned after specialists warned the biggest risk of the disease reaching Spain is from Africa rather than Europe.

13 February 2006

MADRID — All bird imports and avian products coming from Morocco are to be banned after specialists warned the biggest risk of the disease reaching Spain is from Africa rather than Europe.

After a case of the form of bird flu which is deadly to humans was found in Nigeria,  the Spanish Ornithological Society (SOS) said Spain was on a migratory 'risk route' because a number of the birds which are currently in Nigeria are expected to fly up to the Iberian peninsula.

But Alejandro Sánchez, of SOS, said this was not a cause to worry because the species which would migrate, like storks or kites, have not been affected by the disease.

Mewanwhile,  Spain is to double its preventative measures to stop avian flu from reaching the country.

Cristina Narbona, environment minister, said Spain was acting according to European agreements to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

It comes after cases of the form of bird which can be passed to humans were also discovered in Italy and Greece.

Narbona said with regard to spring migrations of birds, the government will be working to implement additional measures to stop this disease reaching Spain, but she did not specify what would be done.

Elena Espinosa, minister for agriculture, said existing measures which Spain were already "adequate and sufficient" despite the fact the risk of the disease reaching the country appeared to be greater than before.

Last year, when the bird flu threat first arose, the government adopted a series of measures.

It requested more vaccine, organised teams to isolate any outbreaks and get anti-dotes to teams of medics and the army in order to stop its spread.

All bird imports and avian products coming from Morocco have been banned.

Booklets telling people what to do have been produced.

Espinosa said: "Despite the fact we have not had one positive case, we are in a position of maximum vigilance."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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