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Common buzzard dead in HK tests positive for H5N1
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The common buzzard that was found dead earlier on Hong Kong's largest but thinly populated island tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said Friday.

The bird was found dead on Lantau Island, a largely green but thinly populated island in Hong Kong, on Dec. 17, just days after a grey heron was confirmed to be H5N1 positive in a separate case in the special administrative region in South China.

Authorities carried out a series of laboratory tests to confirm the H5N1 case, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said, adding that buzzards are a common visitor to Hong Kong in winter but not resident species.

The spokesman also reminded people to observe good personal hygiene.

"They should avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," he said.

Hong Kong recently has been vigorously monitoring bird movements and has also staged rehearsals simulating a pandemic outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus in case it developed the ability to jump from one human being to another.

(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2007)

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