Bird flu in China now up to 8 in one month

The Chinese government has reported its eighth outbreak of bird flu within a month which indicates the virus seems to be spreading.

Government officials are regarding the situation as"very serious".

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao issued the warning after receiving confirmation that another animal was infected with the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu.

After an outbreak of the deadly virus in early November almost 9,000 chickens died in what was the fourth bird flu outbreak within a month; in October 545 chickens and ducks died of the virus in central China and more were destroyed.

Although not confirmed it is suspected that four sick people also have the virus.

Health experts worldwide fear the H5N1 strain, now passed easily from animal-to-animal, may mutate and become easily passed to and between humans, setting of a pandemic.

Since it first appeared in Southeast Asia in 2003, more than 60 people have died from it.

It has now spread through Asia and into Europe.

According to Chinese officials 2,500 birds have died from the bird flu and 30,000 are being killed as a preventative measure.

Millions of birds have already died or been culled worldwide.

A report that fake vaccines were sold in Liaoning province, may mean millions of birds presumed to be safe could be carrying the virus unnoticed.

This has added to China's concerns.

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