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Texas Bird Flu Eradicated

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AUSTIN, Texas, Apr 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Texas animal health officials said Thursday an outbreak of avian influenza, or bird flu, detected in February near Gonzales has been eradicated.

Tests on more than 352 noncommercial flocks did not detect additional infection in the area about 60 miles east of San Antonio, the Texas Animal Health Commission reported.

A team of veterinarians and inspectors from the commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services combed the area to test noncommercial flocks for the H5N2 strain to ensure the contagious poultry virus had not spread.

A single infected flock was detected and destroyed in February near Gonzales by animal health officials. Test results submitted by commercial poultry operators in the area also have tested negative for the virus.

Dr. Max Coats, the commission's deputy director, said the H5N2 strain in Texas, and the milder strains found in the northeast have not been shown to affect human health or compromise food safety.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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