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Thailand's government has failed to learn important lessons from its last outbreak of bird flu, according to politicians and public health officials there.

The government was accused of covering up outbreaks, both in January this year and within the last month, but says it did not want to trigger a scare by "releasing information with a lot of publicity". Critics, however, say the government's reticence could have cost lives.

The UN Food and Agriculture Association warned on Friday that the mistakes that fuelled the last major outbreak are being repeated in Asia, and advised countries to increase surveillance.

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