Yaounde, Cameroon — The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected for the first time in poultry in Myanmar and Cameroon, officials in the two nations said, in the latest sign of the disease's expanding range in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Experts over the weekend confirmed cases in hundreds of dead chickens at a farm outside of Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay, Than Tun, director of the country's livestock breeding and veterinary department, said today.
Myanmar borders Thailand and China, which together have reported 24 human deaths from the disease.
Cameroon's government announced its first avian case on Sunday, becoming the fourth African country to be struck by the deadly bird flu virus.
Experts have expressed concern that bird flu was likely to be spreading undetected in Africa.
Cameroon's government said the tests that confirmed the H5N1 strain were carried out in a laboratory in Paris.
Minister of Livestock Aboubakary Sarki told reporters the infected duck was among 10 birds that died in Maroua from Feb. 12-26. He said the government had already slaughtered birds in the area as a precaution.
Sarki said the government had banned the sale of chicken in the affected area, but some residents contacted by phone said it was still being sold.