Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
A flock of 12,000 chickens in the US state of Delaware has been destroyed in an attempt to prevent the spread of avian flu.
Japan, Singapore and South Korea suspended all imports of US poultry after birds at a farm in southern Kent County, Delaware, tested positive for the virulent H7 virus.
But the virus is different from the H5N1 virus that has spread through several Asian countries, Delaware's Agriculture Secretary, Michael Scuse, said. That strain has forced the slaughter of millions of birds and killed 18 people in Thailand and Vietnam.
Three new outbreaks of the flu in Asia were confirmed in separate parts of China on Saturday, state media reported. But in Vietnam, where 13 people have died, officials denied reports from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation that pigs had been infected.
Mr Scuse said he was "fairly confident" the virus had not spread from the infected farm, which has been quarantined.
The flu strain could cause severe economic damage if it spreads to the US commercial broiler industry, a linchpin of the region's agricultural economy.
In the year to March 2003, the US exported about 500,000 tones of chicken to Japan. Singapore last year imported about 17,500 tones of chicken meat from the US, worth S$32.8 million ($25 million).
An outbreak of a related strain of bird flu in the north-eastern US in 1983 and 1984 forced 17 million birds to be destroyed.
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