Kuwait: 7 more bird flu cases detected, 39 so far

The deadly bird flu strain has been found in seven more birds in Kuwait, raising the number of confirmed cases among birds here in the last three days to 39, a Health Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. However, tests on several persons who handled the birds proved negative, spokesman Ahmed al-Shatti said, stressing that Kuwait has not yet registered any bird flu in humans. Two infected turkeys and four chickens were found in a home pen in Wafra, south of Kuwait City, and an infected falcon was reported by its owner in a nearby suburb, said al-Shatti. The fact that "people are now calling in" cases, reflected the success of the awareness campaign launched Sunday after the first cases were confirmed, he said. Initial investigations indicate that the H5N1 strain was carried in by smuggled birds, and some cases were traced back to a bird market, al-Shatti said.