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New Delhi Says Some People May Have Contracted Bird Flu in India


India's senior health official says it is possible some people in the country have been infected with the bird flu virus.

Health Secretary P.K. Hota says tests on at least nine people hospitalized with flu-like symptoms are being analyzed, and the results are expected Thursday.

In Indonesia, a Health Ministry official says an East Jakarta woman who died Monday after handling sick chickens was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says a bird flu outbreak is virtually unavoidable in Afghanistan. The agency says the country is surrounded by nations where cases of the deadly disease already have been detected and the government is unprepared to tackle it.

Thailand has banned poultry imports from European countries affected by bird flu.

And the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur has urged U.S. citizens in Malaysia to take measures to avoid exposure to the virus.

In Europe, veterinary experts allowed France and the Netherlands to vaccinate millions of birds against avian influenza - the first time the European Union has ever authorized such a measure.

Austria has confirmed that the H5N1 virus has been found in two chickens - the first time it has appeared in poultry in the European Union.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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