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Laboratory tests have confirmed that a dead bird discovered
Laboratory tests have confirmed that a dead bird discovered on the island of Tung Ping Chau, in Hong Kong, last week is infected with H5N1 bird flu virus, Xinhua reported on Friday.

The bird was found on February 12 in the village of Sha Tau, a spokesman for Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department told the Chinese news agency.

In early February, three birds that were found dead on a beach on Hong Kong's largest island tested positive for bird flu. The birds were believed to have washed up on Lantau Island after dying in mainland China.

Around 20 other birds were found in earlier in Hong Kong. Officials suspect that all of the birds came from China, where five people died from the H5N1 virus in January.

In December, more than 90,000 chickens were culled at a Hong Kong poultry farm following a bird flu outbreak. Hong Kong's biggest bird flu outbreak was in 1997 when seven people died. The last death from the H5N1 virus in the former British colony was reported in 2003.

Although there have been no incidences of human to human infection, experts fear that the bird flu virus may mutate into a form that could be easily transmitted from person to person, causing a global pandemic.


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