Monday, November 28, 2005

News - Romania quarantines village and kills birds - Europe - International Herald Tribune

The authorities began on Sunday to cull thousands of domestic birds in this eastern Romanian village, which was quarantined after a turkey tested positive for the H5 subtype of avian flu.

Further tests to be carried out in Britain will determine whether the turkey was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, which has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 68 people in parts of Asia since 2003, said Ion Predoi, who heads the National Agency for Animal Health.

All domestic birds in Scarlatesti, which are estimated to number 15,000, will be killed, Predoi said.

"We have eight teams led by vets culling the birds, and we hope to finish by tomorrow night," he said on Sunday. The area will then be disinfected, and restrictions will be lifted if no other infections are detected within 21 days, he said.

The Health Ministry has dispatched medical personnel to vaccinate residents against human influenza, a measure meant to avoid the occurrence of a human flu epidemic at the same time as the bird flu outbreak, which could lead to a dangerous mutation of the H5N1 virus.

The authorities suspect that the turkey, from a farm that belonged to the mayor of Scarlatesti, was infected when it came into contact with migratory birds from the Danube Delta.

Romania has confirmed the H5N1 strain of avian flu in three villages in the Danube Delta. The virus also has been confirmed in a dead heron in an uninhabited area near the border with Moldova, about 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, north of Scarlatesti.

Pandemic drill in Vietnam

Vietnam, the country hardest hit by bird flu, held a large-scale drill on Sunday to test its preparedness for a pandemic, and Australia planned a similar exercise later this week, The Associated Press reported.

India's leading drug manufacturer said Sunday it was making progress in talks with Roche Holding of Switzerland on manufacturing a generic version of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu.

The drug is in short supply as countries around the world try to stockpile it in case there is a human pandemic, which specialists fear could happen if the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus mutated.

The exercise in Vietnam involved about 900 people, including military personnel and police, health and agricultural officials.

SCARLATESTI, Romania The authorities began on Sunday to cull thousands of domestic birds in this eastern Romanian village, which was quarantined after a turkey tested positive for the H5 subtype of avian flu.

Further tests to be carried out in Britain will determine whether the turkey was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, which has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 68 people in parts of Asia since 2003, said Ion Predoi, who heads the National Agency for Animal Health.

All domestic birds in Scarlatesti, which are estimated to number 15,000, will be killed, Predoi said.

"We have eight teams led by vets culling the birds, and we hope to finish by tomorrow night," he said on Sunday. The area will then be disinfected, and restrictions will be lifted if no other infections are detected within 21 days, he said.

Romania quarantines village and kills birds - Europe - International Herald Tribune

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