Bird flu virus spotted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Saturday that it has identified the epicenter of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus, saying that the virus cannot be transmitted to humans. It said the virus outbreak occurred at a poultry farm in Horaimilah governorate in Riyadh region.

As part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the Ministry’s field emergency teams killed 35,000 birds who had been in contact with the infected bird, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Dr. Abdullah Abal Khail, spokesman of the ministry, said that this strain of bird flu does not pose any threat to public health.

The spokesman called on all poultry projects in the Kingdom to strengthen biosecurity measures in their farms.

The spokesman called on the poultry farmers to take utmost care and vigil as well as to apply preventive measures when dealing with birds, and not to import new birds for the time being