11/10/2005, 00.00
ASIA
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Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia

Virus is spreading in China despite government measures. New outbreaks reported in Liaoning province and Vietnam.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A new death likely due to the bird flu was reported in Indonesia. In China and Vietnam the virus is spreading to more and more poultry farms.

China. The mainland has reported two new outbreaks of the bird flu in chickens in Daling, a village near the city of Jinzhou, and Chaoyangsi, near the city Fuxin, both in the north-eastern province of Liaoning. Lab tests confirmed that some 1,100 chickens died in fresh outbreaks of the H5N1 virus.

Six outbreaks were found in the country in the last month, prompting the culling of 500,000 head of poultry within a three-kilometre radius to stop the virus from spreading.

In Liaoning, where the outbreak was reported on November 4, health authorities announced that some 10 million birds were culled in a week. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao yesterday described the situation as grave and warned that other outbreaks are still possible.

Vietnam. Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat reported today the death of 300 ducks in Quang Nam province; another 1,000 were culled. Lab test results are not yet in. Several ducks were found dead in the northern province of Bac Giang, where some 134,000 chickens, ducks and geese were slaughtered last week.

Cao called on local authorities to do more to inform farmers about the virus and demand greater cooperation from them.

Since Monday three deputy prime ministers and six ministers hit the road to inform people about the government's preventive plans and prepare the population for a pandemic.

Pham Ngoc Dinh, deputy head of the National Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute, said that a 24-year-old woman from Bac Giang province was not infected with the bird flu.

Indonesia. The Health Minister today admitted a possible 6th bird flu death, but early tests have not yet been released. The victim was a 16-year-old boy who died on November 8 in a Jakarta hospital showing the typical symptoms of the disease: high fever, pneumonia, rapid drop in number of lymphoid cells.

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have denied reports that birds recently found dead were killed by the bird flu virus, but have not yet report why they died. (PB)

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