China sees bird flu outbreak near coronavirus epicenter: report

As Chinese officials grapple to contain an outbreak of novel coronavirus that’s sickened more than 17,000 people and killed some 361 others, another disease is causing concern: bird flu.

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The country has reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Hunan province, which borders Hubei province, where the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak is located, the South China Morning Post reported.

The outbreak was first reported on a farm that’s home to nearly 8,000 chickens. So far, some 4,500 chickens at the farm have died from bird flu. Others have been culled to prevent the disease from spreading, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement, according to the South China Morning Post.

The outbreak of bird flu was reported at a farm near the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. (iStock)

The outbreak of bird flu was reported at a farm near the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. (iStock)

Bird flu is a viral infection that can affect birds and humans alike. Symptoms typically include cough, diarrhea, fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches and more.  However, no human cases of H5N1 have been reported at this time.

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The news comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased over the weekend, with 11 cases now confirmed in the country. As of Monday morning, there are six in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington state, one in Massachusetts and two in Illinois. No deaths have been reported in the U.S. and the large majority of cases still remain in China.