Thailand confirms new bird flu outbreak | world | Hindustan Times
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Thailand confirms new bird flu outbreak

world Updated: Jan 24, 2008 10:24 IST
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Thailand has confirmed a new outbreak of bird flu among chickens, the first detection of the deadly H5N1 virus in poultry in 10 months, the livestock development department said on Thursday.

The virus was found last week among chickens on a farm in Nakhon Sawan province, 245 kilometres (151 miles) north of Bangkok, a livestock official said, adding 4,085 chickens have already been slaughtered.

"The results of the laboratory test confirmed that it is bird flu virus," said the official, who declined to be named.

The latest outbreak was the first since Thailand found bird flu among chickens in March 2007. No human cases have been detected since July 2006.

Thailand has been among the countries hardest hit by the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, recording 25 human cases, 17 of them fatal, since the outbreak began here in 2004.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed 219 people worldwide, mostly in Southeast Asia, since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.

The strain is mainly an animal disease, but scientists fear it could mutate to easily jump from human to human, sparking a deadly global pandemic.