Mexico will begin vaccinating birds in high-risk areas this week to prevent the spread of the highly contagious H5N1 strain of avian flu in the country, authorities said on Tuesday.

BIRD FLU FOUND IN NORTH CAROLINA, CALIFORNIA

Last month, Mexican authorities detected a severe H5N1 strain of bird flu on a commercial farm in the state of Nuevo Leon, bordering the United States.

Mexico will begin vaccinating birds in high-risk areas to prevent the spread of H5N1 on their farms. Pictured: A chicken walks around a quarantined farm in Acatic Jalisco state, Mexico on February 26, 2013.
(Hector Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images)

Commonly called avian flu, the disease is often transmitted by wild birds in the fall and winter, but experts fear the H5N1 strain has not followed previous trends by subsiding during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

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The rapid spread of the variant has led to massive cullings this year. At least 52 million birds have been slaughtered so far for health reasons in Europe, Mexico’s agriculture ministry said, compared to 50.2 million in the United States.

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