Saturday, December 03, 2005

News - Romania Quaranties 3 New Avian Flu Sites, Will Kill Poultry

Romania quarantined three more villages in the eastern part of the country after confirming poultry in one have the H5 avian flu virus. The Agriculture Ministry suspects birds in the other two are similarly infected.

Health workers plan to destroy almost 9,500 birds in the three villages. The H5 virus was reported in live and dead hens in the River Danube delta village of Periprava, near the Ukrainian border, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

``Tissue samples from the infected birds will be sent to England to find out if they're the H5N1 strain,'' Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said in a statement broadcast by news channel Realitatea TV. ``We hope to finish the killing and incineration of all the birds in the three locations today.''

Authorities suspect recent deaths of domestic poultry in the two other quarantined villages of Bumbacari and Dudescu in a neighboring county were caused by the H5 virus because they're close to the village of Scarlatesti, where the virus was reported Nov. 26 and 15,000 poultry were killed.

Additional laboratory testing will have to determine whether the dead poultry in Bumbacari and Dudescu, outside the Danube delta, carry the H5 virus, the ministry said.

The case in Scarlatesti, located in the Draila county, was the first found in a domestic bird outside of the Danube delta.

Health-care authorities are awaiting results from additional testing in the UK, which is to determine if the turkey hen in Scarlatesti had the H5N1 strain that can jump from birds to humans and kill them.

Flu Shots, Ukraine

Residents in areas where bird flu cases were reported are given shots against human influenza because the H5N1 strain may become more contagious if it combines with other flu viruses.

Romania this month and last reported the deadly H5N1 strain in at least three other locations in the Danube delta in domestic and wild birds, and slaughtered tens of thousands of poultry in those areas. The delta, Europe's biggest wetland, is a hub for migratory birds that can carry the virus on their way back to Africa.

Neighboring Ukraine, in which about a third of the Danube delta lies, hasn't reported any bird flu cases. Romania discovered the H5 virus on migratory and domestic birds found dead as close as 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the border with Ukraine. Top Worldwide


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