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Czechs cull turkeys after bird flu outbreak

Written by: Staff

PRAGUE, June 21 (Reuters) Czech veterinarians will cull 6,000 turkeys today at a farm in eastern Czech Republic after an outbreak of bird flu, the State Veterinary Administration said.

It said soldiers, police and veterinary officials were setting up two quarantine zones with a 3 km and 10 km (1.9-6.3 mile) radius around the affected farm in the village of Tisova, 150 km east of Prague.

Head of the agency's animal protection unit Zbynek Semerad said it was not clear yet whether the virus was of the H5N1 type which is deadly to humans.

''We know it is H5 but we do not know more yet. Test results will be available at around 10 a.m. (0800 GMT),'' he told Reuters.

The Czechs found several cases of the H5N1 strain in swans last spring, but have never recorded any cases in poultry.

The H5N1 virus remains mainly a virus of birds, but experts fear it could change into a form easily transmitted from person to person and become an epidemic.

So far, most human cases can be traced to direct or indirect contact with infected birds and hundreds of millions of birds have died or been culled.

Bird flu has been spreading through southeastern Asia.

Vietnamese authorities reported second human victim this month today.


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