China reports outbreak of H5N1 bird flu

Chinese authorities are culling thousands of chickens after an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu in Hunan Province, which neighbors the coronavirus-hit province of Hubei.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Saturday that 4,500 chickens had died of avian flu caused by the H5N1 virus at a farm in the city of Shaoyang.

The authorities have culled about 17,800 birds to prevent the spread of the disease.

The H5N1 type of bird flu virus is known to infect humans and cause serious symptoms.

Last year, an outbreak of the same strain was reported at a poultry farm in northeastern Liaoning Province.

A man infected with the virus reportedly died in the inland province of Sichuan in 2015.

Chinese authorities are on high alert in response to the bird flu outbreak given the continuing spread of the new coronavirus among humans.

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