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Illinois monitoring 4 counties to guard against bird flu

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ State agriculture officials say they’re keeping close watch over four counties in southeastern Illinois to guard against the possible spread of bird flu from Indiana.

More than 414,000 turkeys and chickens have been killed at 10 southwest Indiana farms affected by the bird flu outbreak. Testing will continue for weeks to determine if the outbreak of the H7N8 strain is contained. That strain is different from one that led to the deaths of more than 48 million birds last summer.

Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Clark says there have been no reports of bird flu in Illinois, which has strict biosecurity policies in place, including a ban on out-of-state birds from fairs.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1PLlTtE ) that the agency is monitoring Lawrence, Wabash, Edwards and White counties.

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