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Ivory Coast Prepares to Battle Bird Flu


Ivory Coast is taking steps to contain its first outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Animal health officials say they are putting in place teams to stop the virus from spreading by killing poultry in the area of the outbreaks in Abidjan.

The officials say they will ban all movement of poultry between communities, and they have set up a telephone hotline for questions and reports from citizens.

The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health late Wednesday said tests indicated the presence of the virus in birds from two outbreaks in Abidjan. Bird flu has been confirmed in five other African nations (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Niger and Nigeria).

In Burma, livestock officials say bird flu has been brought under control and restrictions placed on affected areas will be lifted within days.

Burma's Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department issued a statement Thursday saying no bird flu outbreaks have been discovered since April 6.

Outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of the virus were first reported March 13 in the central Mandalay and Sagaing regions.

Officials placed tight restrictions on the movement of animals and closed markets in the region. Thousands of chickens, quails and their eggs were destroyed in the region.

Bird flu has killed more than 113 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia.

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