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Homeland Security

China reports new bird flu outbreak

RIA Novosti

17/06/2008 16:19 BEIJING, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed in southern China, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Local authorities have so far slaughtered over 17,000 ducks in the province of Guangdong, close to Hong Kong, as a preventive measure. The outbreak, in a village near the city of Jiangmen, was detected last week when 3,800 birds died from the disease.

No cases of human bird flu infection have been reported, the agency said, citing the Ministry of Agriculture.

The last confirmed outbreak of bird flu in China was in April in Tibet. An outbreak was also recorded in March in Guangzhou, Guangdong's provincial capital.

According to the World Health Organization, avian influenza has so far killed 241 people in 383 confirmed cases worldwide. Although there have been no incidences of human to human infection, experts fear that it may mutate into a form that could easily be transmitted from person to person, causing a global pandemic.

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