H7 bird flu hits another Australian poultry farm in quarantine zone

Illustration shows test tube labelled "Bird Flu", eggs and Australia flag

CANBERRA (Reuters) - A fifth poultry farm near Melbourne has been infected with a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, the government of Australia's Victoria state said on Friday.

The farm is close to three others where an H7N3 strain of the flu had already spread and authorities said the latest detection was not unexpected.

Another farm in Victoria has hosted an outbreak of a different H7N9 strain of the virus. Neither strain is the same as the H5N1 type that has spread globally through bird and mammal populations and even into humans. (This story has been refiled to correct the day of the week to Friday and to say H7 strain, not H7N3, in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Sonali Paul)