After first denying the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in China, the Ministry of Agriculture last Friday confirmed cases of the disease in Beijing's rural Yanqing county, the city of Sanhe in Hebei province, and the western region of Xinjiang, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Ministry also said the number of wild birds in Qinghai province believed to have been killed by the bird flu H5N1 influenza strain is now up to more than 1,000 from the first reported 178. Ministry officials said the foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks do not affect humans and have been controlled through quarantine, vaccination and the destruction of infected herds. The Ministry said the large outbreak of the bird flu was a "rarity", but the virus can spread easily among humans once it adapts.
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