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Village in Togo closed after suspected H5N1 case

Togo has imposed a quarantine on a southern village after a suspected outbreak of bird flu killed nearly 4,000 poultry in the small West African state, the government said on Wednesday.

The government's website said the sudden death of the birds at Gbata near Avepozo in the coastal Lacs prefecture indicated a possible outbreak of bird flu. Samples from the dead chickens were being sent to laboratories in Ghana and Italy to test for the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the disease.

Togo, one of a string of West African countries to be hit by outbreaks of bird flu over the past two years, reported several cases last year of H5N1 avian influenza among poultry.

Togo's Agriculture and Livestock Ministry had reinforced an existing ban on the import of poultry and also tightened controls on ports, markets and frontiers with neighbours Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso, the website said.

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