Fears of bird flu put Swiss on guard.


A ban on outdoor poultry stocks will keep Swiss fowl under cover until at least mid-month.

The country is guarding against the possible spread of Avian Flu virus H5N1 from diseased migratory birds. More than 140 million birds, worldwide, have died or been killed to prevent spread among flocks. Swiss poultry sales dove 20 per cent with news of the precautionary ban.

At press time in November, the virus had not been found to spread between people. In all 120 documented cases in people, it was contracted through physical contact with infected birds.

Health specialists fear the H5N1 virus will cross with a virus that spreads in people and trigger a pandemic like the Spanish flu that killed tens of millions between 1918 and 1920. So far, bird flu has killed 62 people, in...

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