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Hong Kong Confirms New Bird Flu Outbreak


Officials in Hong Kong say several birds there have tested positive for the deadly strain of bird flu.

Officials say two dead ducks and one dead goose found on a beach on Lantau island in the past week have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the disease.

More than a dozen other birds were also found dead in the area in recent days. Officials say they are still testing those birds.

Authorities say they are investigating whether the birds came from mainland China, where five people have died of bird flu this year.

In December, chickens at a Hong Kong farm were found to be infected with the disease, prompting authorities to slaughter tens of thousands of birds.

That outbreak of bird flu was the first in Hong Kong in five years.

The avian virus normally passes from bird to bird and occasionally to humans, but experts fear it could begin spreading from one human to another and start a pandemic that could kill millions.

The World Health Organization says bird flu has killed 248 people since it resurfaced in Asia in 2003.

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

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