From: Reuters
Published March 7, 2008 04:39 AM

Hong Kong wild bird tests positive for H5N1

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A wild magpie robin in Hong Kong has tested positive for the H5N1 birdflu virus, the government said in a statement on Friday.

The bird was found and collected on February 29 near the Tai Po Kau nature reserve in the New Territories.

Scientists fear the H5N1 strain of avian influenza could mutate into a form that jumps easily from human to human, threatening an epidemic which could kill millions.

A 44-year old woman in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong died last month from H5N1, which she likely contracted from sick poultry in her backyard.


Hong Kong has now confirmed five cases of H5N1 infected wild birds this year including two cases which forced the temporary closure of the Mai Po nature reserve as well as aviaries in the popular Ocean Park themepark.

(Reporting by James Pomfret)

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