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Ducks Gassed in Thousands as France Fights Bird Flu Virus

Workers wearing masks and protective clothes gassed thousands of ducks in southwest France on Friday, in a massive cull that was ordered in an attempt to prevent a spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus. At one farm in the village of Latrille, in the heartland of duck and geese rearing country, 8,000 ducks were taken by hand and put in coloured metal containers where carbon dioxide was piped in to kill them, normally within seconds. In scenes reminiscent of apocalypse-themed movies, workers clad in head-to-toe protective suits, face-visors and…

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China Confirms Human Bird Flu Case in Guizhou Province

Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou have confirmed a new human case of H7N9 avian influenza, state radio said, bringing the total number of human infections of the highly pathogenic strain to 19 this winter. The 49-year old man, who is a chicken trader, was being treated in hospital in Qiannan prefecture, the report said on Sunday. The local authorities were taking precautions to try and prevent the infection from spreading, the report said. A total of 19 people have been infected with bird flu in China…

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U.S. Scrambles to Clear Egg Exports to Bird Flu-Hit Korea

U.S. officials are urgently seeking an agreement with South Korea that would allow imports of American eggs so farmers can cash in on a shortage caused by the Asian country’s worst-ever outbreak of bird flu. The two sides are negotiating over terms of potential shipments after South Korea lifted a ban on imports of U.S. table eggs that it imposed when the United States grappled with its own bout of bird flu last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If an agreement is reached, U.S. shipments could bring…

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Bird Flu Infects 7 People in China This Month, Killing Two

China has reported at least seven cases of bird flu in humans across the country this month, including two deaths, as authorities take steps to guard against an outbreak. Five cases of H7N9 bird flu infections have been diagnosed in central Anhui province since Dec. 8, and two people have died, state media reported. In Shanghai, officials said this week that a man was diagnosed with H7N9 and is being treated in a city hospital. Another case has been reported in Xiamen in coastal Fujian province, where poultry sales have…

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Bird Flu Hits British Turkey Farm

Britain on Friday announced the discovery of a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a turkey farm, and sought to allay fears the outbreak could affect the traditional Christmas meal. The H5N8 strain of avian flu was detected at a farm near Louth, a town in northeast England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. All of the more than 5,000 birds at the farm that have not died from the disease will be culled, Defra said. The government also announced it was restricting the movement…

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Risk to Human from Bird Flu Sub-Type H5N8 is Low: Government

The risk to human population from avian influenza sub-type H5N8 is “low” but the government has issued advisories to states and Union Territories to minimise bird-human interface as a matter of “abundant caution”, Rajya Sabha was informed today. Outbreak of bird flu was first reported on October 18 among wild birds in National Zoological Park in Delhi and since then samples from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana have been tested positive at Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD). Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh…

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