Rains offer hope for bird virus outbreak

January 28, 2008

An outbreak of avian flu in Murchidabad, India, may have been temporarily restrained thanks to a series of unseasonal rains.

Animal Resources Development Minister Anisur Rehman said that while the increased rainfall has prevented the culling of potentially infected animals, the unseasonal weather may be the key to limiting the spread of the potentially deadly virus, the Press Trust of India reported Saturday.

"The culling operation is being affected in some places due to rains. But scientists say that the rains also prevent spread of the virus," Rehman said.

The bird flu virus has been found in 11 districts of the Indian state of West Bengal to date and medical teams have been working to prevent it from spreading.

The Press Trust reported that in addition to the rains, government officials have blamed the delays in culling the poultry flocks on public resistance.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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