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5,000 birds die of avian flu in China

Avian flu has killed 5,000 wild birds in China’s northwest, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, five times the number previously reported by the Chinese government. Twenty birds a day are still dying in Qinghai province, but that rate is falling and the outbreak appears to be winding down, said a member of a WHO team that visited the remote region last week with Chinese health officials.

Chinese authorities haven’t killed any birds to prevent the spread of the disease because they are rare, protected species, said Dr. Julie Hall, WHO’s China-based coordinator for communicable diseases, surveillance and response. The 5,000 dead birds came from five species and included gulls, geese, shelduck and cormorant, according to the World Organization for Animal Health Web site.

Read the original article at: The National Post

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