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Flu Found in Romania Is Deadly Strain

October 16, 2005|From Reuters

BUCHAREST, Romania — Laboratory tests showed Saturday that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had infected ducks in Romania, confirming the virus had reached mainland Europe.

A British laboratory established that three birds found dead in the Danube delta last week bore the H5N1 strain, which has killed more than 60 people and resulted in the death of millions of birds in Asia since 2003, by disease or culling.

In Turkey, the Anatolian news agency reported that nearly 1,000 chickens had died in the east, near the Iranian border, after being transported from western Turkey. It said samples were being tested for possible bird flu. A Turkish Health Ministry official earlier said tests had indicated that nine people under observation for possible bird flu were not infected.

Turkish officials also said the incubation period was over for avian flu found on a farm in northwest Turkey.

The European Union Commission in Brussels confirmed that the H5N1 strain found in Romanian ducks was the same as that detected in Turkey.

"The link has now been confirmed," EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said in a statement. Kyprianou said the European Union had already banned poultry and live bird imports from Romania.

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