Jordan became the latest country in the Middle East to confirm cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu on Friday but said no humans had been infected and the outbreak was under control. Jordanian Health Minister Said Darwazeh said at least three dead turkeys at a domestic farm in Ajloun had tested positive for the disease but none of the humans tested in the area were infected. Twenty people were given the Tamiflu vaccine and the area has been cordoned off to prevent the disease from spreading further, he told a news conference in Amman. "The disease in its current form is more of an economic disease that affects poultry. It has had a very limited effect on human health," he said. Source: [Reuters]
I guess this was bound to happen, as the virus had already spread into most of the countries neighboring Jordan, including the West Bank, Israel and Iraq. I have to admit, though, I’m a bit worried. Let’s hope Jordanian health authorities can control the situation and stop the spread of this pandemic inside the kingdom. Here is the a link to Alghad’s story [in Arabic].
A senior health official on Monday said Jordan remains a high-risk country with regard to a possible outbreak of bird flu. "Jordan is like any other country in the world that is at risk of facing an outbreak of bird flu," Health Ministry Diseases Control Director Adel Bilbeisi told The Jordan Times yesterday. Bilbeisi’s statements contradict previous statements by other Health Ministry official who said the Kingdom was less vulnerable to a bird flu epidemic than coastal countries, adding that the possibility of an outbreak in the country was not high because of the limited number of water bodies.
"Jordan and countries in the Middle East and North Africa are among the high-risk countries… because they are on the route of migratory birds," said Bilbeisi.
Source: [The Jordan Times]
Ok, I’m officially worried! Allah Yostor!
Via Zandaqa, I came across this Elaph article, which states that two people have died in Syria after exhibiting symptoms similar to those found in bird flu! I’m not sure how credible this news source is, but this really is alarming. In addition to constantly worrying about economic stagnation, regional wars and terrorism, we now have to worry about the spread of pandemics! Great! It keeps getting better and better in the Middle East! I will reiterate Ammarji‘s question: does this seems like the end of days?
Meanwhile, Jordan Health Minister Saeed Darwazeh said that no bird flu cases have been registered in the Kingdom.
UPDATE: Here are the latest victims:
ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) — Turkey said on Monday a fourth person had died of avian flu as authorities slaughtered tens of thousands of birds to try to contain the outbreak. Indonesia announced a 13-year-old girl had also died at the weekend of the H5N1 virus, while two of her siblings were ill. Indonesia has previously reported 12 deaths from bird flu.