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H5N1 bird flu reported in Tibet

(Xinhua)

19:03, May 13, 2013

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Southwestern China's Tibet Autonomous Region has reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced on Monday.

Thirty-five chickens at a farm in a village in Mainling County of Nyingchi Prefecture showed symptoms of the suspected avian flu and died last Tuesday, according to the ministry.

The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory on Monday confirmed that the virus was H5N1 bird flu after testing samples collected at the farm, the MOA said.

Local authorities have sealed off and sterilized the infected area, where a total of 372 chickens have been culled and safely disposed of in order to prevent the disease from spreading, according to the MOA.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a contagious disease of animal origin caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. It can be fatal to humans.

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