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February 23, 2004

USA: Bird flu case confirmed in Texas

A case of bird flu has been discovered at a chicken farm in Gonzales County, Texas, according to state officials.

A case of bird flu has been discovered at a chicken farm in Gonzales County, Texas, according to state officials.

The Texas Animal Health Commission said the bird flu case had been confirmed and that the flock of 7,000 birds had been quarantined, reported Dow Jones International News.

State veterinarian Bob Hillman said the bird flu strain found in Gonzales County is similar to the low-pathogenic strains found recently in the US.

“It poses no health threat to humans and causes relatively low mortality in chickens,” he was quoted by Dow Jones as saying. “There is no danger in consuming eggs or poultry meat, and that is the most important point.” 

Meanwhile, Cuba has said it would increase imports of US chicken despite the recent bird flu outbreaks. Cuba is the eighth-largest exports market for US poultry.

“We have limited purchases from a few states due to avian influenza, but see no problem with the vast majority,” Pedro Alvarez, chairman of Cuba’s state food importer Alimport, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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