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Japan confirms first bird flu case since 2011

Worker wearing protection suits cull chickens at a poultry farm where the bird flu virus had been found in Takanabe Town, Japan
Worker wearing protection suits cull chickens at a poultry farm where the bird flu virus had been found in Takanabe Town, Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two chickens have tested positive for avian influenza at a farm in Japan where more than 1,000 chickens have died, marking the country's first case of bird flu in three years, the Agricultural Ministry said on Sunday.

The highly pathogenic H5 virus was detected through genetic testing of chickens at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture in the south, the ministry said on its Website.

A total of 1,100 chickens have died and about 112,000 would be culled, media said.

There is believed to be no risk of the virus spreading to humans through consumption of chicken eggs or meat, said Tomoyuki Takehisa, an Agricultural Ministry official.

It is the first bird flu case in Japan since 2011 when it was detected in Chiba prefecture, north of Tokyo.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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