The scare of avian flu doesn't seem to shoo away. In a new scare is Malawi who dispatched blood and tissue samples to neighbouring South Africa. The suspect is of course avian influenza after thousands of migratory birds were found dead on a hill in the central Ntchisi district.
There was alarm and panic as agriculture officials expressed alarm after local villagers started scooping up the dead fork-tailed drongos -- known locally as namzenze -- to eat earlier this week in the district about 200km east of the capital, Lilongwe.
According to Wilfred Lipita, director of livestock and animal health in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, 'Someone alerted police that people are feasting on mysterious manna from heaven. We sent officials to caution the people not to eat them since they may have the avian flu which has proved deadly to humans in other countries.'
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has ravaged poultry stocks across Asia since 2003, killing or forcing the slaughter of more than 160 000 million birds. It has also killed at least 71 people.
The biggest fear is that this does not mutate into a deadly strain that could pass on from human to human.