Japan confirms another bird flu outbreak, 67,000 chickens to be culled

14:46, February 16, 2011      

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Local Japanese officials confirmed another outbreak of bird flu on Wednesday that left 160 chickens dead at a poultry farm in Kiho, Mie Prefecture in the western Kansai region of the country.

Officials said that genetic testing revealed that the virus found in some of the dead birds was the highly virulent H5 strain that has plagued poultry farms in southern Japan this season, making it the worst national outbreak in Japan since 2004.

A total of 67,000 chickens at the affected farm will be culled and prefectural officials have moved to prohibit any movement of the farm's chickens and eggs within a 10-km cordon.

According to the central government, no humans have been reported infected in Japan this flu season, which began in November.

Furthermore, Japanese agriculture ministry officials said the virus won't affect humans who eat meat and eggs from infected birds if the products are properly cooked.

The ministry officials said that infections among humans are predominantly caused by direct contact with birds infected with the virus.

Source: Xinhua

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