Bird flu hits city near nCoV epicenter

A city in China’s Hunan province, right next to Hubei which is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, said it had culled close to 18,000 chickens following an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu.

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In a statement, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Saturday said of the 7,750 chickens on the farm in Shaoyang City where the outbreak reportedly happened, at least 4,500 died of the “highly pathogenic” strain of the bird flu.

Since 2003, the H5N1 avian flu has killed 455 people worldwide, data from the World Health Organization showed.

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The WHO said while H5N1 can be transmitted to humans through contact with dead birds, human-to-human transmission is rare.

“The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food,” WHO said.

The mortality rate in humans is 60 percent, it added.

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Topics: H5N1 bird flu , China , novel coronavirus , Hunan , World Health Organization
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