Bird flu research triggers outbreak

Agence France Presse

Bangkok, May 27:

A fresh outbreak of the deadly bird flu virus in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai may have been accidentally triggered by research being conducted on the disease, Thai officials said today.

Chiang Mai University has notified authorities that several chickens, geese, ducks and other birds fell ill and died this week, prompting culling of some 1,000 poultry.

Deputy Agricultural Minister Newin Chidchob said it appeared research at the campus farm may have led to the outbreak.

“The discovery might have been caused by research into preventing the disease and the production of medicine,” Newin told reporters, adding the outbreak was relatively small and did not qualify as an epidemic.

The minister said surveillance teams had been set up within a radius of one kilometre of the area.