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Pakistan culls 25,000 chickens in bird flu scare

By Staff
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ISLAMABAD, Apr 20 (Reuters) Pakistan today culled around 25,000 chickens at two farms near the capital where bird flu was detected, officials said.

Pakistan reported its first case of deadly H5N1 bird flu at two farms in North West Frontier Province in February and found the virus at another farm near Islamabad last week.

Scientists today detected a mild strain of bird flu, H5N1, in flocks at two farms near Islamabad and suspected that two other farms might also be affected in the same area.

''We have destroyed about 25,000 chickens at the two farms where the outbreak of H5N1 strain has been confirmed,'' Shamsul Hasan, director at the state-run Poultry Development Centre, told Reuters.

H5N1 and other low-pathogenic forms of bird flu cause mild symptoms such as ruffled feathers and a drop in egg production.

The H5N1 strain has spread across Asia and into parts of West Asia, Africa and Europe since 2003 and 110 people are confirmed to have died.

Pakistan has not reported any cases of humans contracting the disease.

REUTERS SHB KP1822

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