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UN warns of bird flu resurgence

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The United Nations has warned of a possible resurgence of the deadly bird flu virus and has urged greater surveillance.

The UN Food and Agriculture Agency says a mutant strain of H5N1 avian influenza, which can apparently sidestep defences of existing vaccines, is spreading in China and Vietnam.

Last week, the UN reported that a six-year-old Cambodian girl had died from bird flu, the eighth person to die from H5N1 this year in the country.

FAO says bird migrations over the past two years have brought H5N1 to countries that had been virus-free for several years, including Israel, the Palestinian territories, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal and Mongolia.

Globally there have been 331 human deaths from 565 confirmed bird flu cases since 2003.

 

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