Bird Flu Scare in Israel

Three kibbutzim have been put under a form of quarantine,for fear that their chicken coops have been hit by Avian Flu. Two men are being examined for the disease; poultry and egg consumers are safe.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 11:34

Two kibbutzim in the Negev - Ein HaShloshah and Holit - were isolated yesterday (Thursday), after over 11,000 turkeys and 5,000 chickens died there over the past several days. This morning, the Health Ministry's Veterinary Services took the same measures in Kibbutz Nachshon, only 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem.

It became clear this afternoon that the cause of death was the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. The Health Ministry is preparing to destroy entire flocks of thousands of poultry, and possibly also to launch a massive vaccination campaign.

A kibbutz worker from Thailand is being held in isolation in Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva, for fear that he has contracted the disease. Health officials said that poultry and egg consumers are not in danger, and that the rare cases in which people contracted the disease involved only those who had been in close contact with infected birds.