February 19, 2004



Bird Flu Suspected Cause Of Cattle Deaths In Thailand


Thai authorities have ordered an urgent investigation into cattle deaths over fears that they may have been infected with the bird flu virus, an official said on Thursday.


Authorities were collecting samples from the 196 cows and buffalos that died in early February near the mountains of northeastern Kalasin province, Yukol Limlamthong, director general of the Livestock Department, told reporters.


"So far, we only know that the cattle were local breeds and were roaming freely in the village," he said.


Bird flu has killed seven people in Thailand and is known to have sickened two other people, who have recovered. Fifteen people have also died from the disease in Vietnam.


Thai officials have culled more than 30 million chickens in an effort to control the bird flu outbreak.


The disease also was found to have infected wild birds and a zoo leopard in Thailand.

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