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Japan finds new bird flu outbreak on chicken farm

by 5m Editor
27 July 2005, at 12:00am

JAPAN - Japanese authorities have discovered a fresh outbreak of bird flu disease on a chicken farm in eastern Japan, close to where several cases of the disease have been detected since late June.

Japan finds new bird flu outbreak on chicken farm - JAPAN - Japanese authorities have discovered a fresh outbreak of bird flu disease on a chicken farm in eastern Japan, close to where several cases of the disease have been detected since late June.

Some chickens at the farm had tested positive for a strain of the H5 virus, a local government official in Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, said on Wednesday.

Authorities will conduct further tests to confirm the subtype of the virus, the official said.

All bird flu outbreaks discovered in Ibaraki since late June have been confirmed as the weak H5N2 strain.

This is a less virulent type than the H5N1 strain found in previous avian flu outbreaks in Japan early last year.

The H5N1 strain first surfaced in poultry in Hong Kong and China eight years ago and is known to have killed more than 50 people in countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.

The location of the latest outbreak in Japan is about 6 km (4 miles) from where the initial case was found in late June.

Since June, authorities have killed chickens at seven farms, all located near the initial case, after they tested positive in antibody tests.

The farm in the latest case has about 35,000 birds.

Following the new case, authorities limited the movement of eggs and chickens in a 5 km radius around the farm to prevent the virus from spreading.

Bird flu returned to Japan last year for the first time in 79 years.

Between January and March in 2004, Japan had four outbreaks of the H5N1 type strain, including an outbreak in Kyoto in western Japan in February 2004 that led to the disposal of about 240,000 chickens and 20 million eggs.

Source: Reuters - 27th July 2005

5m Editor