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Tests confirm infected poultry cause of virus
By Zhang Feng in Beijing and Cao Li in Shanghai (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-30 06:00

A laboratory analysis has confirmed that the bird flu virus from the three human cases in China came from infected poultry, but the virus cannot be transmitted among humans yet, according to the Ministry of Health's statement released yesterday.

The H5N1 bird flu virus found in the Chinese human cases one from Hunan Province and the other two from Anhui has some variations from that of Viet Nam patients.

The field investigation and laboratory test showed that human beings can transmit the virus through direct contact with infected poultry by breathing in the virus through their secretions.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed two more bird flu outbreaks in poultry in the country's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Central China's Hunan Province.

The ministry said 288 poultry died on November 22 in Shanshan County in Xinjiang. By Monday night, veterinary authorities in Xinjiang had culled 52,162 poultry within 3 kilometres from the affected areas.

The lab also confirmed another bird flu outbreak on November 18 that killed 390 chickens and 12 ducks in Laobutou Village of Yongzhou, Hunan.

The Ministry of Agriculture has sent experts to the affected areas to oversee their quarantine work and disease control efforts.

In Shanghai, apart from the live chicken, which is available in some 464 designated markets, the city is halting the sales of all other birds starting today.

According to the bureau, they closed the trade because many birds available in the market came from the wild, which could be a source of infection.

The Nanhui District Wild Life Protection and Management Station revealed that they had confiscated more than 100 bird nets and 500 wild ducks in the latest raid in nearby beaches.

(China Daily 11/30/2005 page2)

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