Saturday, November 26, 2005

News - Asia - China Reports New Bird Flu Outbreak, Bringing Total to 27

China reported a new outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry, bringing the number of cases to 27 in the country this year.

Zhalandun city in the northwestern province of Inner Mongolia reported 246 poultry died Nov. 20, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on its Web site late yesterday. China's National Avian Flu Reference Laboratory confirmed the birds were infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, the ministry said.

Authorities in Inner Mongolia culled 16,567 birds within a three-kilometer (1.9-mile) radius of the infection site, the statement said.

The virus has infected about 130 people in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China and killed 67 of them, the World Health Organization said Nov. 17. Bird flu outbreaks in poultry increase the risk of the virus mutating into a strain that's more easily transmissible between humans, leading to a pandemic that may kill millions.

China's government, which on Nov. 21 ordered local governments to report cases of avian influenza and other animal diseases within four hours of discovery to China's cabinet, the State Council, has reported three human cases and two deaths from the virus as of Nov. 23. Asia


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