Gulf Daily News - 12/4/2006
THE summer months will be a dormant period for the bird flu virus, with the region's scorching temperatures expected to keep potential outbreaks at bay, a veterinary expert said.
Agriculture and Municipalities Ministry animal health director Dr Salman Abdulnabi Ebrahim said hot temperatures prevent the virus from spreading rapidly.
"We expect Bahrain and the Gulf to be safe from potential outbreaks for the next few months," he said.
"The virus is affected in the summer months, reducing the danger of an outbreak.
"Also during this time, the number of migrating birds coming to the region drops."
Dr Ebrahim said migrating birds pose the biggest threat to the region, especially after the directorate's inspections have so far turned up no sign of bird flu in Bahrain.
He said outbreaks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not expected to affect Bahrain since live birds are not imported from these countries.
Dr Ebrahim said the practices on Bahrain's farms also make it less susceptible to outbreaks than in certain other countries, such as Egypt.
"In Egypt three cases were discovered in which bird flu was passed on to human beings and the main reason for this is probably the way the birds are raised on their farms," he said.
"The birds tend not to be separated by species, especially in rural farms, and the way the farms are managed result in more contact between the birds and people working on the farm.
"Our farms are run in a way which is much safer in this regard."
The directorate is also monitoring all of Bahrain's ports and entry points, including seaports, the Bahrain International Airport and the King Fahad Causeway.