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. Bird tests positive for deadly flu strain in Hong Kong

by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) March 7, 2008
A bird found dead in Hong Kong a week ago has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain, agricultural officials said Friday.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said laboratory results showed an Oriental magpie robin had been infected with the killer virus and reminded people to avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry.

The bird carcass was found on February 29 in a nature reserve in Tai Po, near the Chinese border.

It is the latest in a line of bird flu cases to hit the city this year.

Last month a black-crowned heron at Ocean Park, a major Hong Kong tourist attraction, was found to have been infected with the virus, closing the aviary for three weeks.

Migratory birds have been blamed for the global spread of the disease, which has killed at least 209 people and ravaged poultry flocks worldwide since 2003.

Hong Kong was the scene of the world's first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died.

World Health Organisation experts say a bird flu pandemic among humans would kill millions worldwide.

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UNAIDS calls for lifting of HIV-related travel restrictions
Geneva (AFP) March 7, 2008
People with HIV face travel restrictions from some 74 nations, with 13 banning those with the disease from entering the countries completely, UNAIDS said Friday.

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