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Wild birds infected with bird flu in north China

By Staff
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BEIJING, Apr 20 (Reuters) Two birds living in the wild and found dead in northeast China were confirmed to be infected with H5N1 bird flu, the official Xinhua news agency reported today, citing the griculture Ministry.

The Liaoning provincial government has disinfected the region where the magpie and wild duck were found, Xinhua said, adding that Liaoning has never had outbreaks of bird flu.

The Health Ministry reported a new human infection on Tuesday in the central province of Hubei, bringing the number of human infections to 17 in the world's most-populous nation. Eleven have died.

Epidemiologists fear that bird flu could mutate into a form where it could pass easily among humans, potentially triggering a pandemic in which millions could die.

There have been more than 30 outbreaks in poultry in a dozen provinces over the past year in China.

REUTERS SHB KP1845

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