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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 10:24 GMT
Bird flu case confirmed in Jordan
Jordan farmer
Jordan is the latest Mid-East state to be hit by the virus
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in dead birds on a private farm in northern Jordan.

Laboratory test results conducted overnight on Thursday showed that birds had died of the virus in the Ajloun district of northern Jordan.

The strain has been detected recently in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

Health Minister Saeed Darwazeh is due to hold a news conference on Friday to give more details about tests and outline plans to combat bird flu.

SPREAD OF BIRD FLU
23 March: H5N1 found in poultry in Bekaot Jewish settlement the West Bank
22 March: Tests show H5N1 has spread to birds in Gaza
17 March: Birds found dead in Israel had H5N1 strain
17 Feb: First Egyptian cases of H5N1 in birds
3 Feb: WHO confirms a girl died of the H5N1 in northern Iraq

On Thursday, Mr Darwazeh issued a seven-day deadline for "people raising domestic fowl to get rid of them, after which the competent authorities will have them killed".

He said that the Jordanian authorities had raised their state of preparedness to a "maximum level".

Officials are concentrating on inspection operations of chicken farms in the Jordan Valley.

QUICK GUIDE

The H5N1 strain of the virus has killed more than 100 people worldwide.

It does not pose a large-scale threat to humans, as it does not pass easily from one person to another at present.

However, experts fear the virus could mutate to gain this ability, and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic, potentially putting millions of human lives at risk.



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