Deadly bird flu confirmed in Romania

Lab tests in Britain have shown that an outbreak of bird flu in Romania is H5N1, the strain that is potentially highly pathogenic to humans.

    Experts fear H5N1 could mutate to spread easily to humans

    The tests on three ducks found dead in Romania's Danube delta near the Black Sea last week confirmed fears that the disease, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003, has entered Europe.

    "We have received telephone confirmation from London that it is the H5N1 virus," Alina Monea, spokeswoman at Romania's veterinary and animal health authority, said on Saturday.

    A European Commission spokesman in Brussels said: "We are waiting for the results which are supposed to be coming from Britain at about 1pm [on Saturday].

    "I cannot confirm or deny [the report] but the commission was acting with the presumption that it would be this more dangerous type and took all the preventative measures," spokesman Robert Soltyk said.

    Turkey also reported an outbreak of the deadly strain earlier this past week.

    Experts fear H5N1 could mutate into a virus that spreads easily among humans, creating a pandemic that might kill tens of millions.

     

    Romania has not reported any cases of bird flu in humans.

    The Danube delta contains Europe's largest wetlands and is a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany.

     

    The birds mainly move to warmer areas in North Africa, including the Nile delta for winter.

    Officials in Romania have announced plans to slaughter thousands of birds to prevent the disease from spreading.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.