Saudi records new bird flu case in Qassim region

Several cases of the H5N8 virus have been reported across the kingdom since December



One case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu has been recorded in Saudi Arabia in the region of Qassim, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Tuesday.

In its daily briefing, the ministry said that the number of samples collected from the kingdom’s regions since the beginning of the spread of the disease reached 10,360.

The results showed that 159 of these samples tested positive, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Up to 28,342 birds were culled in the previous 24 hours, the report added.

The statement said the ministry received eight notifications and 17 enquiries in the previous 24 hours.

According to the latest report submitted by Saudi Arabia to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on March 1, the kingdom has noted 22 H5N8 bird flu outbreaks in total since December. The outbreaks were noted in the districts of Riyadh, Al Kharj, Al Mazahmyia, Al Khobar, Al Aziziyah, Dhurma, Al Ahsa, Al Muzahimiyah, Jeddah, Thadiq, Al Qatif and Al Quwaiiyah.

While 157,844 cases were recorded in total, 1,786,046 birds were killed and disposed of, the report stated.

Last month, the kingdom also announced a temporary ban on the imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India after the H5N8 bird flu virus was detected in the Asian country.