Medical experts in Myanmar have urged people to continue to remain alert against probable bird flu revival despite success in containing the deadly disease during its first outbreak in the nation, a local media reported.
Myanmar experienced a two-month-long bird flu outbreak in March- April this year and was claimed to have been successfully brought under control. Restriction of movement in the 13 bird-flu-affected townships of the two divisions has been lifted with no new such case being found since April 7, the Food and Agriculture Organization Yangon office claimed.
"It is not the end of the story. It continues to affect the whole world," a woman professor of the Microbiology Department of the University of Medicine-1 was quoted by the Myanmar Times as saying.
Noting that Myanmar is adjacent to some countries with high bird flu transmission rate, she held that it is impossible to prevent migratory birds from flying from these areas into Myanmar.
With little knowledge of the danger of the bird flu virus, some people might be one day involved into a form that is easily transmitted from human to human, she said.
She cited high risk farming practices including keeping different species of poultry on one farm, disposing of infected chickens in an improper way which is not safe, using contaminated farming equipment and allowing poultry to range freely in densely populated areas.
The professor further warned that women are in greater danger from bird flu than men as they have to handle raw chickens for cooking purpose.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will lead in a 1.8-million-U.S.-dollar joint media project with Myanmar government and non-governmental media on bird flu prevention and education among the public, earlier reports said.
Myanmar reported for the first time on March 13 the outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in two divisions of Mandalay and Sagaing as some 112 chickens died of the disease on March 8 in a poultry farm in Pyigyidagun township in Mandalay.
During the period, altogether 9,206 fowls from 408 poultry farms and 5,606 quails from 137 quail farms were culled and 330, 000 fowls and 320,000 quails destroyed. Besides, about 100,000 eggs about 80,000 quail eggs were destroyed.