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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Fresh bird flu fears rattle Asia
A worker feeds chickens at a poultry farm in China
A pandemic would be caused by the H5N1 virus in birds, officials say
A fourth Indonesian has been confirmed to have died from bird flu, as China reported a new outbreak of the virus among poultry.

Indonesian health ministry officials said the victim, a 23-year-old man, died in Bogor, near Jakarta.

China announced the new outbreak among geese and chickens in the eastern Anhui province in a report to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The H5N1 strain has killed at least 60 people in Asia since 2003.

Principally an avian disease, first seen in humans in Hong Kong in 1997
Almost all human cases thought to be contracted from birds
Possible cases of human-to-human transmission in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, but none confirmed

The latest developments come as top health officials from more than 30 nations meet in Canada to discuss how to plan for a human influenza pandemic, which they say is inevitable.

All the Asian countries hit the hardest by the deadly H5N1 strain are taking part in the conference, in Ottawa.

The European Union meanwhile has announced a ban on live wild bird imports to any of its 25 member-states.

Fears of infection arriving among pet birds have risen after a parrot died of the H5N1 strain - potentially deadly to humans - while in quarantine in the UK.

House-to-house search

Indonesia's latest victim was taken to hospital in September and died two days later, senior health ministry official Hairai Wibisono said.

"We have now seven cases of bird flu, including four fatalities," he said.

The World Health Organization also confirmed the death, after a laboratory in Hong Kong found on Monday that the man had the H5N1 strain.

All of Indonesia's human bird flu deaths came from Java.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said earlier its experts would organise a house-by-house search for infected birds on Java to help combat the spread of the deadly virus.

In China, officials said about 2,100 poultry had been infected in Anhui - the country's second outbreak in less than a week.

Noureddin Mona, China's FAO representative, said that Beijing reported the latest outbreak on Monday.

He said that the Chinese agriculture ministry also confirmed that the birds died of the H5N1 strain.

Chinese officials are stepping up preventive measures after H5N1 last week killed 2,600 poultry in the country's northern region of Inner Mongolia.

China has not reported any human infections.

Map showing locations of outbreaks of H5N1 strain of bird flu
The H5N1 strain remained largely in South-East Asia until this summer, when Russia and Kazakhstan both reported outbreaks
Scientists fear it may be carried by migrating birds to Europe and Africa but say it is hard to prove a direct link with bird migration
UK case discovered in quarantine, so disease-free status unaffected

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