December 18, 2008: The deadly Bird Flu virus is back, and hundreds of thousands of chickens are being culled (killed) across Asia and Africa to stop the virus from spreading. The H5N1 virus is commonly referred to as Bird Flu virus since it spreads through birds. It can be fatal for human beings, especially those that are exposed to birds such as poultry.
In China, over 370,000 chickens have been culled in the country’s eastern province of Jiangsu. In India, a similar exercise is happening in the western state of Bengal. The virus has also surfaced in Egypt, where it killed a little girl, and in Cambodia and Taiwan.
According to Chinese experts, migratory birds could be a reason for the return of the virus. In winter, thousands of birds migrate from the colder regions of the north to warmer places in the south. These birds are suspected of carrying the deadly virus into their migratory habitats.