HONG KONG, March 8 (Xinhua) -- An oriental magpie robin found dead earlier in Hong Kong has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said in a press release Friday.
"An oriental magpie robin was confirmed to be H5N1 positive after a series of laboratory tests," said the Department.
The dead bird was collected on Feb. 29 near a management center in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve in the northern district of New Territories, a government spokesman said, adding that the oriental magpie robin is a common resident in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has reported nine cases of bird infections of the H5N1 virus since November. The H5N1 strain typically gets more active during the cold and dry winters.
Authorities in Hong Kong have been on alert against the virus, with contingency plans and education programs aimed at informing the public about bird flu.
More than 300 people from government departments, the Hong Kong International Airport and airline held an exercise in Hong Kong Friday, simulating a suspected case of H5N1 avian influenza on a plane at the Hong Kong International Airport.
The government spokesman also reminded the public to observe good hygiene Friday.
"They should avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them," he said.