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Bird flu emerges in US state of Texas
Updated: 2004-02-21 09:04

Bird flu was confirmed in a flock of chickens in Texas, the fourth US state hit by the disease in two weeks, state animal health officials said Friday.

State authorities stressed that the H5N2 strain virus detected in the flock in Gonzales County, Texas, is of no danger to humans or food.

"The signs of the disease in chickens, indicates this virus is a low-pathogenic strain, meaning it poses no health threat to humans and causes relatively low mortality in chickens," the Texas Animal Health Commission said in a statement.

The infected flock was quarantined. Texas and federal animal health regulatory personnel are working to contain and eliminate the infection and determine how the disease may have been introduced.

The news came after two other strains of low-risk bird flu virus have turned up in three East Coast states in the United States in recent weeks.

After H7N2 strain was found in two flocks in Delaware and four live chicken markets in New Jersey, another low-pathogenic strain called H2N2 was discovered in a Pennsylvania flock.

But Texas state veterinarian Bob Hillman said it did not appear to be any connection between the cases on the East Coast and the infected flock in Texas.

After bird flu virus was confirmed in the first farm in Delaware on Feb. 6, more than 20 countries have banned imports of US poultry products.

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