For those for whom the very word 'bird flu' sets them in jitters, take a grip.
The Japan Broadcasting Corporation has announced the presence of avian influenza or bird flu, in a Japanese farm, the first incident since 2005.
Around 2400 birds have died from the disease at a farm situated in Miyazaki prefecture, southwestern Japan.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry have confirmed the cause of the chicken death as avian influenza.
Scientists have identified the virus strain as that of the broad family H5. Further details are not available, though Miyazaki poultry official Keijiro Tarumizu said that test results so far suggested that the virus was virulent enough for all the chickens at the farm to be culled.
This Sunday, workers from the prefectural government came armed in protective gear and goggles, and fatally gassed the surviving birds at the farm.
Inspections in 16 other farms within 10 km from the affected farm will begin on Wednesday.
Officials plan to lift the ban on the sale and movement of poultry and eggs if the green signal is sounded from inspection agencies.
Scientists fear the spreading of the avian flu could result in a lethal pandemic should the avian flu virus mutate with that of the human flu virus.
So far there have been 157 deaths from the avian flu, though all were caused only through direct contact with affected birds.