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Hong Kong finds H5N1 virus in dead gulls

By Wang Qingchu (Shanghai Daily)

16:43, January 04, 2012

Two dead black-headed gulls found in Hong Kong were tested H5N1 positive, Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.

The dead gulls, a migratory bird commonly seen in the special administrative region, were discovered in Tuen Mun and Lantau Island last Friday and on Monday. There is no poultry farm within 3 kilometers where the carcasses were found, Wen Wei Po reported today.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has alerted chicken farmers to take precautions against the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu.

Further tests are being conducted to confirm the results, the authority said.

Hong Kong raised its bird flu alert level to "serious" on December 21 after the H5N1 virus was found in a dead chicken in a local poultry market. As a result, nearly 20,000 chickens in the market were destroyed and local farms were banned from sending chickens to the market for 21 days.

A man died in hospital last Saturday after being infected with the H5N1 virus in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong.

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