KUWAIT, (Reuters) – Kuwait said on Saturday it was culling 1.5 million birds after almost 40 new cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu were confirmed, raising to 96 the total number of infected birds in the Gulf country this year.
The new cases were found after more than 11,000 birds were tested, mostly in pens and farms in Kuwait, Health Minster Massouma al-Mubarak said.
“No human infection has been found so far,” she told a news conference, adding that 552 people who had been in contact with the birds and their families had tested negative.
Officials said some 400,000 birds had been culled already, while the culling of 1.1 million chickens at three farms in the southern region of Wafra near the Saudi border would be probably completed later on Saturday.
Kuwait first reported a case of bird flu in 2005.
The country has closed down the zoo and poultry shops in residential areas, and banned the import of live birds.