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New outbreak of birdflu reported in Northern China

A new outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed in Inner Mongolia in the northern region of China. This bird flu outbreak is the 23rd in China since October.// Experts confirmed H5N1 bird flu after 246 birds died in Inner Mongolia's Zalantun city last Sunday, the agriculture ministry said.//

Local veterinary workers have culled 16,567 birds at poultry farms within three km of the affected area, it said.

China has reported three confirmed human infections with bird flu. World Health Organisation experts plan to travel next week to the eastern province of Anhui, where two women died after contact with infected poultry.

Chinese agriculture and health authorities have stepped up education campaigns with prime-time television and newspaper advertisements urging caution and proper hygiene in handling live and slaughtered poultry.

Health officials worldwide fear that a mutation that makes the virus highly infectious between people could lead to a global human pandemic, killing millions.

(IANS)
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