Avian Influenza
Seoul reports second bird-flu outbreak in two weeks
Nov 28, 2006 - 11:32:36 PM

Seoul, Nov 28 - South Korea Tuesday reported its second outbreak in two weeks of the strain of bird flu that can be deadly in humans.

Hundreds of chickens at a poultry farm in the southern city of Hwangdung have suddenly died since Monday, and tests confirmed they had the H5N1 strain of bird flu, a spokesman for the agriculture and forestry ministry said.

Chickens and ducks living within a radius of a half-kilometre from the affected farm are to be culled to prevent the spread of the disease, which is highly contagious in poultry.

The farm is about three kilometres from an operation where 6,000 chickens died last week of H5N1.

No human cases of the disease have been reported in South Korea, but according to the UN's World Health Organisation, 258 people have been infected with H5N1 in 10 other countries in Asia and Africa since late 2003. Of them, 153 have died.

Bird flu's transmission to people is more difficult than in birds, and most human patients have contracted the disease through close contact with infected birds. Health experts however fear that the virus could mutate into a form that could spread from human to human.

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