Hooded crane in Kagoshima confirmed as infected with avian flu
A hooded crane found in Japan's largest crane wintering place in Izumi Plains, Kagoshima Prefecture, was confirmed Tuesday as having been infected with an H5N1 strain of highly infectious avian influenza, the Environment Ministry said. But the ministry said it is unclear whether the strain is highly lethal. The dead bird was being tested at Tottori University in Tottori Prefecture after it tested positive in a preliminary test.
The birds were found in the Izumi-Takaono National Wildlife Protection Area. The plains and the cranes that fly into the area are designated "special natural treasures" by the government for protection purposes. Two cranes that have tested negative in a preliminary test will also be scrutinized at the university and a government institute.
(AP, Dec 22)
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