• Kyodo

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Nearly 6,000 chickens have died of bird flu at a poultry farm in Yamaguchi Prefecture since Dec. 28 in the first outbreak of the disease in Japan since 1925, it was announced Monday.

Officials said it is uncertain whether humans can be infected with the avian flu strain found in Yamaguchi Prefecture, but the virus was blamed for the deaths of six people in Hong Kong in 1997 and 1998 and a veterinarian in the Netherlands last year.

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