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The Chiba Prefectural Government said Monday it had confirmed an outbreak of bird flu, thought to involve a highly pathogenic strain of the disease, at an egg-laying chicken farm in the city of Isumi.

The incident is the second recent outbreak of bird flu in Chiba, which in December became the first prefecture in eastern Japan to report incidence of the viral infection this winter after cases spread in western Japan.

The prefectural government plans to slaughter all of about 1,145,000 chickens at the farm — the largest number ever in a single outbreak in the nation.

The farm is located within 3 kilometers of the site of the outbreak that occurred on Dec. 24 last year.

Many chickens were found dead on Sunday, prompting the prefectural government to conduct an on-site inspection.

After a simple examination detected positive cases, a detailed genetic test revealed that the virus involved was likely to be of a highly pathogenic strain of the disease.

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