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China, Russia Report New Bird Flu Outbreaks

China and Russia are reporting new outbreaks of bird flu, as Chinese officials approve the first clinical tests of a human bird flu vaccine.

In China, state media report new poultry cases of the deadly H5N1 form of the virus in the northwest regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and southwest Yunnan province. Officials destroyed tens of thousands of birds on farms near where the dead poultry were found.

Russian officials say 250 wild swans have died from an H5-type bird flu in the Volga River delta.

Meanwhile, China's state food and drug administration said it has approved clinical tests for a human vaccine for bird flu. State media say initial reports show the vaccine is fairly safe and effective.

Earlier Tuesday, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States imposed temporary bans on poultry from the western Canadian province of British Columbia after bird flu was found in a duck there.

On the other hand, Canadian officials say they have found several more cases of bird flu at a poultry farm in British Columbia, but add it is a weaker version than the lethal H5N1 strain blamed for the deaths of some 60 people in Asia.

An official with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Cornelius Kiley) said Tuesday they found "multiple positives" when testing poultry for the flu near where a duck was found with the virus last week. He did not say exactly how many birds were affected. Canadian officials have destroyed some 60,000 birds in the wake of the positive test results.

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