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Bird flu epidemic in Mexico is contained, officials say

July 11, 2012

Poultry farms in western Mexico have had to kill millions of chickens over the past few weeks to contain an outbreak of bird flu. Officials have visited 148 farms since the outbreak was first caught on June 20, and so far 31 farms have tested positive for the bird flu virus strain known as H7N3, 34 have turned up negative and the rest are awaiting results, the AFP reports.

There are approximately 3.4 million infected chickens, and 2.5 million have been put down "as a control and eradication measure," Mexico's agriculture ministry said in a statement released earlier this week. Another 1 million birds will receive vaccinations that have just been imported, and farming officials told the news source a seed-based vaccination has been developed and will be mass-produced very soon.

The United Nations indicates that while this particular strain of bird flu has occasionally affected humans, it does not easily pass from one person to another, according to the AFP. The state of Jalisco has been most heavily affected, but Governor Emilio Gonzalez Marquez indicates efforts to stop the spread of the virus have been largely successful, according to the EFE, a leading global Spanish-language news agency.

Those who want to discuss the outbreak can make calls to Mexico with phone cards to talk to their friends.

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