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Bird flu spreads to second German state

Three swans were found dead with bird flu in a second German state one day after authorities confirmed six cases of bird flu in the southern state of Bavaria, local reports said Tuesday. 

The health ministry in the eastern state of Saxony said three dead swans were found near Leipzig and a quick test confirmed that they were infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, said a report by German news agency DPA. Authorities said the infections could still be isolated cases. Experts have yet to establish if the infection is connected to the bird flu outbreak in the neighboring Czech Republic, said the report. The H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in geese and turkeys in a total of four farms in Hungary, Britain and the Czech Republic this year.

According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 virus has killed nearly 200 people out of more than 300 cases globally since2003. Health experts fear that H5N1 could develop the characteristics of seasonal flu and begin spreading easily among people, causing a global outbreak that could kill millions. (xinhuanet.com)