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Bird flu outbreak reported in Sichuan
Updated: 2006-01-04 07:31

China Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The 1,800 poultry which died in a village in the Dazhu County were confirmed to have H5N1, the Ministry of Agriculture said on its website.

Some 12,900 poultry in the vicinity of the affected area have been culled to contain spread, the ministry said.

H5N1 is the bird flu virus that scientists fear may mutate into a strain that can spread easily among people, unleashing a human pandemic that could kill millions.

The H5N1 virus has killed more than 70 people in Asia since late 2003 and is endemic in poultry flocks across parts of the region.

China, along with Vietnam, has suffered numerous outbreaks in poultry since October and Beijing has launched sweeping measures to stop the virus spreading and infecting more people, including a campaign to vaccinate all domestic poultry.

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