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China confirms bird flu outbreak at quail farms in Guizhou province

BEIJING, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China confirmed a bird flu outbreak at quail farms in the country's southwestern province of Guizhou, according to a Ministry of Agriculture statement on Friday.

The outbreak in Luodian, a city of 345,000 people in southwestern Guizhou, was confirmed as the H5N6 strain of virus, the ministry said in the statement on its website.

The local government culled 8,110 birds after the outbreak, which infected 13,103 quails and killed 9,752 of the birds at some quail farms, the statement said.

It was the second bird flu outbreak among poultry in China after the end of the northern hemisphere winter and brings the total culled to more than 248,000 birds.

This Chinese outbreak occurred as the Philippines reported a second bird flu outbreak on Friday, a week after reporting the country's first case.

South Korea and Japan battled major outbreaks during the winter.

The outbreak is now under control, the ministry said.

The last bird flu outbreak, of the H5N1 strain of the virus, killed 15,000 birds at a hen farm in northeastern Inner Mongolia province, the ministry reported on Aug. 1.

The H7N9 strain of the virus has caused at least 281 deaths since October in China.

Live poultry markets were shut down in many provinces following human infections.

Flocks are particularly vulnerable to avian flu during the drier winter months and outbreaks usually die down afterwards. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)