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Indonesia Reports 20th Bird Flu Death


Indonesia says laboratory tests in the United States confirm that a 27-year-old woman has died from bird flu in Jakarta.

Officials say the death Monday brought Indonesia's fatality toll from the virus to 20 since July.

Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac urged citizens not to panic after confirmation of the deadly H5N1 strain at a Turkey farm near Lyon. In comments at an agricultural show in Paris he said there is no danger in consuming well-cooked poultry or eggs.

But an official of the country's agricultural union expressed concern the development will hurt French exports.

Authorities in Georgia are slaughtering domestic poultry in a district where the illness was discovered this week.

Elsewhere, scientists in Hong Kong Saturday are conducting further tests on a dead magpie suspected of having H5N1. New cases in birds were also discovered in Germany and India.

Indian officials say the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus was found in chickens on a poultry farm in Utchal in Gujarat state. The area is very close to a region in Maharashtra state where bird flu was first reported a few days ago.

Officials say measures have been taken to prevent bird flu from spreading in the Utchal area.

Indian authorities have culled hundreds of thousands of birds in the Navapur area of Maharashtra to stamp out the virus, and there are no reports of humans being infected so far.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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