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Israel Says H5N1 Bird Flu Strain Found in Kindergarten Zoo

Israeli health authorities say they have found the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in dead chickens at a kindergarten petting zoo.

The Israeli Agriculture Ministry says 18 chickens were found dead Thursday at the kindergarten in the northern town of Binyamina. The ministry says tests later confirmed they were infected with the H5N1 virus that is potentially lethal to humans.

Israeli authorities alerted hospitals in the area to look out for any children or adults with high fever, the most common symptom associated with the virus.

Authorities also are checking for other bird flu outbreaks within a 10-kilometer radius of the kindergarten.

Israel culled more than one million chickens and turkeys in March 2006 after the H5N1 virus infected poultry at several communal farms.

Migratory birds are thought to have spread the virus from Asia to the Middle East and Europe.

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