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Colombia Finds First Cases of Bird Flu


Colombia's agriculture ministry says it has detected the nation's first cases of bird flu, but adds it is not the viral strain experts fear could cause a global pandemic.

The ministry said in a statement Monday that a weaker strain of bird flu was discovered in chickens at three farms in Tolima state in western Colombia. Those flocks of chickens have been quarantined.

Agriculture Minister Andreas Felipe Arias said authorities are testing chickens across the nation for the virus.

The World Health Organization has been warning that the stronger H5N1 strain of avian influenza could mutate into a form easily passed among humans and cause a global pandemic. At least 112 people in Asia have caught the virus from infected birds, and 60 of them have died from it since 2003.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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