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New Bout of Bird Flu Reported in China

The virus killed nearly 9,000 chickens in the fourth recent outbreak, with many more culled. Officials increase focus on fighting the disease.

November 04, 2005|From Associated Press

BEIJING — China reported its fourth bird flu outbreak in three weeks, saying the virus killed 8,940 chickens in a village in the country's northeast and prompted authorities to destroy 369,900 other birds.

The outbreak occurred Oct. 26 in Badaohao, a village in Liaoning province, east of Beijing, the Agriculture Ministry said. The agency's report was posted late Thursday on the website of the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health.

The birds' death came amid government efforts to tighten controls on China's 5.2 billion chickens, ducks and other poultry and vaccinate millions of birds.

China has reported no human infections, but experts warn that transmission is inevitable if the country can't stop repeated outbreaks in poultry.

The government has banned poultry imports from 14 countries where the avian flu has been detected and said Thursday that travelers from those nations would be asked to report any fever or other flu-like symptoms.

Also Thursday, the government announced the creation of a national anti-flu command center led by six Cabinet ministers or vice ministers in charge of health, quarantine, science and foreign affairs.

The government this week ordered authorities nationwide to step up disease monitoring and announced a $250-million fund for bird flu prevention.

In neighboring Vietnam, a provincial official today confirmed outbreaks of the flu among poultry in three northern villages despite increased efforts to fight the disease.

"We have taken all necessary measures to stamp out the outbreaks," said Nguyen Dang Khoa, vice chairman of the People's Committee of Bac Giang province, northeast of Hanoi.

More than 3,000 poultry died or were culled this week in three villages in the province, he said.

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