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China intensifies efforts to prevent further bird flu outbreaks
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China is intensifying the monitoring of bird migration to prevent any further outbreaks of bird flu, Xinhua learnt from the State Forestry Administration on Friday.

The administration urged local authorities to beef up epidemic surveillance, raise people's awareness to prevent new outbreaks and offer training to work staff on the treatment of bodies of animals that died from the unidentified diseases.

Experts worried migrating birds might transmit the deadly virus if they flew out of the epidemic-stricken areas.

China has had five bird flu outbreaks in poultry this year. The latest case in Guangdong Province killed 114 domestic fowl and led to the culling of another 518.

Neighbouring Vietnam has reported outbreaks of bird flu, while Hong Kong has found dead wild birds that tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain.

Meanwhile, the unprecedented snow storms earlier this year added pressure to the prevention of bird flu outbreak.

Li Jinxiang, director of MOA's veterinary department, said the blizzards made the bird flu virus more active and affected regular immunization work. This was usually conducted in February and March.

The snow and freezing conditions also damaged the living conditions of livestock, which may bring risk to spreading the epidemic, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)

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