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Nation on Alert Against Bird Flu Outbreak
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China's vice agricultural minister on Thursday ordered local officials to stay vigilant for possible bird flu as the season began to change.


"The autumn and winter are the prime period for bird flu outbreak, officials should be aware of the stern situation and should not underestimate the difficulties in virus control," said Yin Chengjie, the vice minister of agriculture.


Addressing a televised workshop on bird flu control, Yin said the virus prevention situation in China is still "serious" despite the generally stable situation at present.


The transport of live fowls might spread the virus, migrant birds would possibly trigger new outbreak, and we still have shortfalls in prevention that urgently needs to be overcome, Yin said.


"We should not underestimate the harms bird flu cause to the people' life," Yin said, ordering the local governments to enhance virus immunization before Oct. 20.


The ministry Wednesday reported a new outbreak of bird flu that has killed about 1,000 domestic poultry in a village in the country's northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.


It is the second case of bird flue outbreak for the week, following another found in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sept. 27, which killed 985 chickens.


(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2006)

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