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5 People in Japan May Have Contracted Bird Flu


Japanese health officials say five people who worked at the site of a bird flu outbreak early this year may have been infected with the virus.

If confirmed, the cases would be the first bird flu infections recorded in humans in Japan.

Officials said Saturday they found a bird flu virus antibody in blood samples from four employees at a poultry farm in western Kyoto prefecture province, where the outbreak took place in February. They said they found the same antibody in a fifth person who took part in disinfectant operations.

Experts say they do not expect the five to develop bird flu or to infect others with the virus.

Following the February outbreak, some 240,000 chickens and 20 million eggs were destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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