Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dead bird in Hong Kong tests positive for H5N1 virus

A wild bird found dead in Hong Kong was infected with the fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu, the government confirmed Saturday.

The bird, from a local species called the scaly-breasted munia, was discovered in the busy shopping area of Causeway Bay on December 31.

It was the only one of six dead birds found that tested positive for the deadly virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said on Saturday.

Department officials have said winter was the migratory bird season, posing higher risks of bird flu.

The department urged residents Saturday to be vigilant against bird flu, which has killed more than 150 people throughout the world.

"They should avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," a department spokesman said.


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