Two cases of H5N8 avian flu recorded in Saudi Arabia

Tracy Otterson puts avian influenza samples in the centrifuge to clean them up before moving to extraction, in this file photo taken on April 8, 2015 at the University of Minnesotaís Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn. (AP)
Updated 02 April 2018
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Two cases of H5N8 avian flu recorded in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture on Sunday announced detection of two cases of H5N8 avian flu in Al-Kharj governorate, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi authorities are actively taking measures to contain the virus. In its daily briefing, the ministry affirmed that the number of samples collected from different parts of the Kingdom since the first case was reported reached 12, 829. Out of the samples, only 171 were tested positive for the virus.
Bird flu strains have hit poultry flocks in a number of countries across the world in recent years, with some types of the disease also causing human infections and deaths.
H5N8 is highly pathogenic to birds (high death rates) and was first discovered in Ireland in 1983. Since then it has been reported in numerous locations around the world.
This strain, however, has not caused any human infections so far anywhere in the world.
According to an Arab News report published in January, the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) enforced a ban on the hunting of migratory birds to help prevent avian influenza.
The migratory birds include houbara bustards, passerines, flamingos, pelicans, cranes and turtle doves.
They temporarily stay, mainly in Al-Hair in Riyadh, Al-Asfar Lake, Jubail Marine Protected Area, Domat Al-Jandal in Al-Jouf, Farasan Islands and Wadi Aljizan. They will leave at the start of spring.


Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

Updated 15 min 27 sec ago
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Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

Four attackers were killed in a failed terrorist attack on an interior ministry building in Zulfi, north of Riyadh, Al-Arabiya TV said.

The suspects who were on board a car tried to crash through the main entrance of the General Directorate of Investigation’s Center in Riyadh, but were intercepted by security and prevented the vehicle from gaining access into the compund.

An ensuing firefight resulted in the death of the attackers, who were armed with machine guns and grenades, Al-Arabiya added.