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Indonesia Launches New Bird Flu Campaign And Japan Confirms 3rd Outbreak

Indonesia will start to enforce a ban on backyard poultry in Jakarta Thursday as part of efforts to prevent the spread of bird flu.

Authorities will make door-to-door checks and kill any birds that are not licensed pets.

The move is part of Indonesia's latest campaign against bird flu. The country has the most human deaths from the virus. Six people have died already this year, raising the country's total deaths from bird flu to at least 63 since June 2003.

Meanwhile, Japan's Agriculture Ministry has confirmed another outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the third in the country since the beginning of this year.

The ministry says the outbreak is at a farm in western Japan's Okayama prefecture.

Officials say they are waiting for test results of another possible outbreak of H5N1 in southern Japan, the same place of an earlier outbreak.

The virus is usually spread through contact with infected birds, but experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily between people.

Bird flu has killed about 160 people worldwide, mainly in Asia, since late 2003. No human infections have been reported in Japan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.