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New human case of bird flu found in Fujian
By Zhao Huanxin and Cecilia Lo (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-09 05:30

"In addition to culling 187,745 poultry within 3 kilometres from the affected areas, we are giving shots to 230,000 head of poultry mainly chickens within a 5-kilometre radius," Jin Aiyin, an official with the Yangquan Agricultural Bureau, said.

Since May 2005, the Chinese mainland has reported more than 30 outbreaks of fatal bird flu among poultry. All but one have been lifted from quarantine isolation, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

In Hong Kong, a 20-month-old boy who visited Sichuan Province during Lunar New Year and showed symptoms of respiratory infection on February 4 has tested negative for H5N1.

The Hospital Authority said in a statement yesterday that the boy was still in isolation at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was in stable condition.

Hong Kong's Acting Deputy Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Vincent Liu told a radio programme yesterday that the government has decided to amend laws to ban people from raising backyard poultry.

The risk of cross contamination between wild birds and poultry has risen because of an increasing number of local birds and poultry testing positive for the H5N1 virus, he explained.

Bird flu in Africa

On the international front, a "highly pathogenic" strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus has been found on a large chicken farm in Nigeria the first reported case of the disease in Africa, the World Organization for Animal Health said yesterday.

The deadly virus the same strain that has spread from Asia to Europe and the Middle East infected a farm in northern Kaduna state that has 46,000 birds, Alex Thiermann, an expert for the Paris-based organization, said.

"We are really not dealing with a backyard operation," he said. He confirmed that it was Africa's first known bird flu case. "We are dealing with a new continent."

All birds on the farm have been killed and their bodies disposed of, he said.

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