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Afghan Health Ministry Confirms Deadly Bird Flu Virus

Afghanistan's Health Ministry has confirmed the presence of bird flu in eastern Nangarhar province.

Health Ministry Deputy Faizullah Kakar told VOA that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus was confirmed by officials Friday. A team of doctors also suspected a human case of bird flu in the region but discovered the person was suffering from malaria.

The area has been quarantined, and the Health Ministry says officials have begun an information campaign.

Earlier this week, Afghan authorities ordered the slaughter of birds in both Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, suspecting an outbreak of bird flu.

Last year, Afghanistan discovered cases of the H5N1 virus in birds, but not humans.

The deadly strain of the bird flu virus has killed at least 160 people worldwide since 2003.