Posted by: kenwbudd | March 30, 2010

H5N1 Avian Flu: New Outbreak in Romania

A suspected bird flu outbreak has been reported in a remote Romanian village, the Sanitary and Veterinary Authority said Saturday.

Samples of two dead hens were sent for confirmation of the potentially deadly H5N1 virus to the Animal Health Institute in Bucharest and on to the Weybridge laboratory in Britain, the Authority said.

The poultry in the small private farm at a village on the Danube Delta were slaughtered and the area disinfected.

“There is currently no risk of the disease spreading,” the Authority said.

Two weeks ago, a bird flu outbreak was reported in the nearby village of Letea close to the Ukrainian border, the first case in Europe for a year.

The previous case in the European Union had been confirmed in March 2009 in a wild duck shot during a hunt near Starnberg, in Bavaria, southern Germany.

Romania was hit by massive bird flu outbreaks in 2005 and 2006, when more than a million poultry were slaughtered.

Avian influenza or “bird flu” is a highly contagious viral disease which primarily affects birds, but on rare occasions can also be contracted by humans and other mammals.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said the H5N1 virus remains a threat to humans, after bird flu outbreaks killed seven people in several countries since the beginning of the year.

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