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China confirms six new bird flu cases.
By (Agencies)
Updated: 2004-02-09 10:53

China confirmed Sunday that poultry in six provinces was infected with bird flu, while Japan, Malaysia and Singapore banned U.S. poultry imports following an outbreak in Delaware.

Chinese state television said the bird flu cases were confirmed in Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu, Hunan, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. Suspected cases also were found in the Guangdong and Guangxi regions.

Quarantine and control measures were immediately instituted in those provinces, the report said, adding that the government has "not yet discovered any cases of humans catching the disease."

Meanwhile, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore joined South Korea  in banning U.S. poultry imports. Hong Kong banned the import of live birds and poultry from Delaware only.

Delaware officials ordered the destruction of some 12,000 farm chickens Friday after confirming a flock there was infected by bird flu. The birds have a strain of the disease milder than the one devastating Asia's poultry stocks.

The avian influenza sweeping Asia has killed 13 people in Vietnam and five in Thailand. More than 50 million chickens have been slaughtered in Asia to stem the spread of the virus.

The Asian economies fighting the outbreak include Thailand, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan. The strain afflicting Pakistan and Taiwan, however, is milder and not considered dangerous to humans.

Bird flu has not jumped to people anywhere outside Vietnam and Thailand in the current outbreak. Health officials have traced most of those cases directly to contact with sick birds.

So far, there have been no known cases of person-to-person transmission in the current Asian outbreak.

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