Saturday, October 15, 2005

Asian bird flu confirmed in Europe

The bird flu virus discovered last week in Romania was the deadly H5NI strain, the European Commission confirmed. The H5N1 strain has already been linked with the deaths of some 60 people in Thailand and neighbouring countries. There have been massive culls of infected bird flocks.Following the announcement of the test results, the Romanian began a ban on the sale of live birds. The government said it would expand security measures in the affected Danube delta region to the whole country. Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said that a ban would also be introduced on the sale of pigs, which can also be infected with bird flu. The E.U. reference laboratory in Britain confirmed that tests on samples from domestic ducks from a backyard farm in Romania revealed the H5NI virus. Attending the Ibero-American summit Saturday in Salamanca, Spain, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that the EU would do everything in its power to combat the bird flu threat. He refused to rule out "drastic" measures, but emphasized that the greatest possible emphasis would remain on transparency in EU processes and on keeping citizens of the 25 nation bloc informed. Earlier this week, Turkey confirmed the presence of the lethal strain of the virus in birds in the west of the country......


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