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Bird flu rears head again in Asia

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Bird flu rears head again in Asia

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While Europe struggles to contain bird flu, the deadly strain of the virus has reared its head again in Asia.

A man is suspected to have died from the H5N1 strain in Thailand after slaughtering and then eating an infected chicken. The news comes on the same day that Vietnam began killing thousands of birds after the discovery of another outbreak in the Mekong Delta region. The virus has claimed the lives of more than 60 people in Asia since 2003, most of them in Vietnam. The H5N1 strain of bird flu first surfaced in Hong Kong in 1997 and reemerged in several Asian countries in 2003. With the whole of Asia on high alert for bird flu, authorities in Taiwan have revealed that birds infected with the H5N1 strain have been found in a container smuggled from China. A Panama-registered cargo ship was seized and tests were carried out on about 1,000 birds, which have since been destroyed.