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Bird Flu Outbreak in North China Controlled
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The Ministry of Agriculture reported Thursday that the bird flu outbreak in north China's Shanxi Province was under control and the quarantine of infected areas had been lifted.

No new infections had been discovered during the 21-day monitoring period after all poultry and poultry products in the affected areas of Changzi County of Changzhi City in Shanxi were treated according to the regulations, the ministry said.

The local veterinary authority has been urged by the ministry to continue to supervise the area and to instruct local residents on how best to protect themselves against the virus.

The outbreak was identified on June 17 by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory after poultry died on farms in Changzi County.

Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin told a national agriculture conference last Friday that 6 billion farm poultry and 850 million head of livestock had been immunized in China from January to June this year.

The six outbreaks of bird flu in China's five provinces and regions in the first half of this year have all been controlled effectively and the risk of an epidemic of other animal diseases had also been reduced, the minister said.

Currently epidemic supervision covers 90 percent of the country's poultry and livestock, said the minister. In the second half of this year everything would covered.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2006)

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