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2,000 turkeys diagnosed with bird flu near Jenin

March 5, 2011 12:50 P.M. (Updated: March 5, 2011 4:44 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- A flock of 2,000 turkeys has been diagnosed with the H5N1 "bird flu" virus in the northern West Bank village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin, government officials said.

The veterinary department of the Palestinian Authority Agriculture Ministry said it had managed to prevent an epidemic.

Director of the department in Jenin Jamil Makhamra told Ma'an that government and private vets examined the flock on Feb. 27 after many of the birds died.

Samples were examined at the veterinary medicine center in Ramallah, where it was confirmed that the birds had influenza A subtype of H5N1, also known as "bird flu."

Makhamra said further samples were sent to a veterinary lab in Israel on March 2, but that even before the results were received, vets buried the dead birds, and killed and buried the rest of the flock according to international regulations. The whole farm was sterilized, Makhamra added.

Results from the Israeli lab confirmed that the turkeys had bird flu.

The ministry official said all necessary procedures were carried out according to international standards. All farms within three kilometers were examined once every 48 hours, and a quarantine was imposed on a 10-kilometer radius for three days preventing the exit or entry of any farm birds, he said.

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