Oct 18, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese government announced plans Tuesday to prevent the spread of bird flu to the African country, authorities said Tuesday.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has devastated poultry stocks and killed dozens of people in Asia and spread to Europe. Now the migratory birds that are believed to have brought H5N1 to Turkey are headed across the Middle East and into Africa.
Sudanese authorities announced a ban on all poultry imports, while the Health Ministry said it has large quantities of a vaccine to treat bird flu if turns up in Sudan and is transferred from birds to human beings.
A Sudanese Health Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was unauthorized to speak to the media, said no bird flu cases have been reported so far in Sudan.
The H5N1 bird flu strain is easily transmitted between birds, but difficult for humans to contract. But scientists are worried the strain could mutate into a form more easily transmitted between humans, and trigger a pandemic.