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China confirms another bird flu outbreak

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February 03, 2004 22:02 IST

China on Monday confirmed a previously suspected outbreak of the dreaded bird flu in the southern province of Guangdong and seven more suspected cases around the country.

But it refuted as 'groundless' western media reports that it was covering up bird flu infections in humans. "There is no single person infected by the bird flu on the Chinese mainland so far," the spokespersons of China's ministries of health and foreign affairs said.

The new case of bird flu or H5N1 strain of avian influenza was confirmed in Chao'an county of Guangdong province after tests by the National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory, the ministry of agriculture said.

It said the local government has been taking measures like fowl slaughter and compulsory immunisation to prevent the spread of the outbreak, which is now under control.

Before the latest outbreak, bird flu had been confirmed in Long'an county of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Wugang city of Hunan province and Wuxue city of Hubei province.

In addition, the ministry said seven more areas where outbreaks of suspected bird flu cases have been found.

They are Lanzhou city and Jingyuan county in Gansu province, Fuyang and Jieshou cities in Anhui, Pingjiang county in Hunan, Xiangfan city in Hubei and Xi'an city in Shaanxi.

Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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