DHAKA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Bird flu has spread to the Bangladesh capital Dhaka and to the port city Chittagong despite efforts by authorities to contain it, livestock officials said on Wednesday.
Dozens of dead crows found over the past two days in Dhaka have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu. City authorities have ordered a ban on the sale of undressed chicken in Dhaka markets, the officials said.
In Chittagong, officials confirmed the spread of bird flu in several farms and also in crows that tested positive for the strain.
The virus has spread to 38 out of Bangladesh’s 64 districts, and forced the culling of nearly 500,000 birds across the country.
Bird flu was first detected in Bangladesh at a poultry farm near the capital last March, but so far has not infected humans in the densely populated country.
Lack of awareness about the virus is still widespread in the country, officials and media reports said.
On Wednesday, a Dhaka newspaper printed a photograph of a man collecting dead crows at the city’s main Ramna Park with no mask and using his bare hands.
Touching or eating sick poultry can lead to infection by the H5N1 virus that has killed more than 220 people globally since late 2003. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Anis Ahmed; Editing by Bill Tarrant)