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Ivory Coast Confirms First Cases of Bird Flu


Ivory Coast has reported its first outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain of birdflu.

The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health says tests have confirmed the presence of the virus in birds from two outbreaks in Abidjan. The H5N1 strain was detected in seven chickens, nine ducks and one sparrowhawk.

The virus has been confirmed in five other African nations - Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Niger and Nigeria.

Earlier this week, a minister from the southern African country of Malawi told a 19-nation bird flu conference that Africa is not prepared to fight bird flu.

A United Nations official at the same conference said poverty and inadequate medical and veterinary services make Africa vulnerable to the disease.

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

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