Hong Kong closes bird parks after chicken test positive for bird flu

Officials ordered the closure of all bird parks in Hong Kong after a dead myna and a chicken tested positive for bird flu, health authorities said Wednesday. The dead crested myna was found in a playground and had the H5N1 bird flu virus, according to preliminary tests conducted Wednesday, said Thomas Sit of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

The chicken, which a villager brought to Hong Kong from a relative in mainland China on Jan. 26, showed symptoms of bird flu on Jan. 30 and tested positive for the virus, Sit said. Three people who might have come into contact with the chicken were being held in isolation wards in hospitals, said Thomas Tsang of the Health Department.

The three were being tested for bird flu but showed no obvious symptoms, Tsang said. Preliminary results of the tests would be available Thursday, he said.

The villager with the infected chicken lived near the border with mainland China where a dead oriental magpie robin infected with bird flu was found earlier.

"We do not know if the chicken was infected in the mainland or if it was infected in Hong Kong," Tsang said. All aviaries and bird parks in Hong Kong will be closed starting Thursday, officials said, reports the AP. I.L.

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