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Bird flu outbreak in southern China: state media

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) March 16, 2008
Bird flu has broken out in the south of China killing more than 100 poultry, state media reported Sunday, citing the agriculture ministry.

The outbreak occurred in a market in Guangzhou, in Guangdong province on Thursday, and was a "highly pathogenic" subtype of the H5N1 influenza virus, which can be deadly to humans, the report said.

A further 500 birds were culled and the disease was under control after emergency measures were taken, according to Xinhua.

The government in Hong Kong, which borders Guangdong, said in a statement it had been notified of the outbreak.

It was China's fifth bird flu outbreak in poultry this year, the report said.

Three people, including a 44-year-old woman from Guangdong, have died so far this year in China of the disease, previous reports have said.

The latest outbreak comes despite a huge campaign last year to try to contain the disease, during which authorities attempted to vaccinate tens of millions of poultry and stepped up public education efforts.

Bird flu has killed more than 230 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation.

Scientists fear the virus could eventually mutate into a form that is easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

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Hong Kong faces anger and fear over flu
Hong Kong (AFP) March 14, 2008
Hong Kong health authorities tried Thursday to calm public fears over a flu outbreak which has left four children dead and led the city to close all primary schools and kindergartens.

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