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H5N2 bird flu outbreak confirmed in northern China

Beijing - A farm in northern China was quarantined after an H5N2 bird flu outbreak in poultry was confirmed by the local government, state media reported on Sunday.

A total 125,700 chickens had been culled as authorities sealed and sterilized a 3-square-kilometre area near the city of Baoding, in Hebei province.

About 4,000 chickens died at the farm since Tuesday with symptoms of suspected avian flu, the Xinhua news agency said.

Reports on Wednesday said officials confirmed that a 73-year-old woman was the first person to die from a new strain of avian influenza in the eastern province of Jiangxi.

The unidentified woman died of respiratory failure on December 6, six days after she was admitted to a hospital suffering from severe pneumonia, the provincial health authority said.

China has reported 142 cases, including 45 deaths, of another new bird flu strain, H7N9, since it was first detected in March.

Earlier this week, four new human cases of H7N9 bird flu were confirmed in southern province of Guangdong.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a contagious disease of animal origin caused by viruses that normally only infect birds and, less commonly, pigs. It can be fatal to humans.

In October, the World Health Organization said it has found no evidence of "sustained human-to-human transmission" of the virus.//DPA

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