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Friday, May 7, 1999 Published at 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

More Malaysian pigs to be culled

The authorities in Malaysia say a deadly virus which has emerged among pigs and killed nearly seventy people has spread to an area just thirty kilometres from neighbouring Singapore.

An environment and consumer affairs official , Dr.Chua Soi Lek, said about four-thousand pigs at a farm in Seelong, near Senai, would be culled after blood samples taken there showed almost all of them had contracted viral encaphalitis.

Local officials said they were taking precautions to prevent the disease from spreading to other farms.

The Malaysian authorities have already destroyed more than a-million pigs since the epidemic -- which is caused by a virus known as Nipah -- broke out.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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