(RxWiki News) A small number of chickens have tested positive for bird flu in a district of Japan. Japanese officials have acted quickly to prevent the virus from infecting humans.
Health officials in Miyazaki prefecture, Japan, announced today that dead chickens on at least one farm in the area tested positive for bird flu.
Authorities began slaughtering chickens in the area to prevent the disease from spreading. Health officials also halted shipments of these chickens that could have been contaminated.
These new bird flu infections come on the heels of a smaller outbreak on a nearby farm two weeks ago, which resulted in the slaughter of around 4,000 chickens, reports TIME Magazine. So far, around 42,000 chickens have been slaughtered in response to the new bird flu cases.
“Unlike the first case, the bird flu this time will involve far bigger numbers of chickens and farms," said Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono, according to TIME. "We need to move quickly."
TIME reports that more than 1 million chickens were culled in 2011 after a bird flu outbreak — also in Miyazaki prefecture.
Bird, or avian, flu is an infection in birds that can mutate to infect humans. Symptoms in humans include cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and trouble breathing.
Officials have not reported any cases of bird flu in humans that could be tied to the infected chickens.