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Bird flu outbreak confirmed in FrancePosted on 15/08/2007

A new bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in France after tests on dead ducks found they had the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease.

The four dead ducks were found at a pond in the Moselle region of eastern France on August 8th.

It is the latest in a number of cases of bird flu found on the continent, including five swans in the same region in June, although no cases of H5N1 have been confirmed in Britain since the infection of a Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Suffolk in February.

However, the latest outbreak may raise the prospect that respiratory face masks may be required in Europe to protect against any flu pandemic which may occur.

Experts are concerned that the H5N1 virus may mutate into a form which spreads more easily between humans, risking a large number of infections and deaths.

In Indonesia a woman has just died from the strain on Bali, the 82nd person to die from the disease.

Overall, 193 of the 320 people known to have contracted the virus have now died, the World Health Organisation has said.


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