Virus alert

Published: Thursday 15 January 2004

A deadly virus, possibly the same one that crossed over in 1997 in Hong Kong from chicken to kill human beings, has killed thousands of chicken and ducks in South Korea. The government has culled thousands more in an effort to contain the disease.

Tests revealed the h5n1 virus caused the bird flu. But further tests are still underway to determine whether the virus is similar to the deadly h5n1-97 strain that had appeared in Hong Kong, killing six people. South Korea began its probe after 20,000 chicken died at a farm in the town of Umsung, some 40 miles southeast of Seoul, earlier this month.

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