Hong Kong Reports Bird Flu Outbreak

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2008 9:47 AM CST
Health workers pack the dead chickens at a local farm in Hong Kong Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008.    (Kin Cheung)
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(Newser) – Three dead chickens tested positive for bird flu in Hong Kong, prompting the city to suspend poultry imports for 21 days and begin slaughtering tens of thousands of birds, an official said today. "We feel that Hong Kong is facing a new alert for bird flu," said the secretary for food and health.

Chow said the chickens, found yesterday at a farm with 60,000 birds, had the H5 virus and further tests were being done to see if they had the deadly H5N1 strain. The farm and neighboring poultry operations were declared part of an infected zone, and about 80,000 birds in the area will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. The 21-day ban on poultry imports will last through Christmas, a time when chicken is an important dish.