Bird flu spreads to Austria, Romania | india | Hindustan Times
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Bird flu spreads to Austria, Romania

The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has been found in birds in Austria and Romania, authorities said on Tuesday, bringing to six the number of European countries where there is a strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 02:54 IST
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The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has been found in birds in Austria and Romania, authorities said on Tuesday, bringing to six the number of European countries where there is a strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans.

The deadly virus was found in two dead swans in Austria, health authorities said, adding that they were waiting confirmation of the preliminary results from the European Union's laboratory in Britain.

The birds were found near the city of Graz in southern Austria, a spokesman for the federal agency of health and food security (AGES) said.

"After preliminary examination, the H5N1 virus has been identified in the two swans, found dead near Mellach, a suburb of Graz," said spokesman Oskar Wawschinek.

Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat had said there was "strong suspicion" that the swans had the deadly H5N1 virus.

Samples taken from the two birds have been sent for confirmation to the EU laboratory for such analysis in Weybridge, England, officials said.

In Romania, the H5N1 virus re-emerged "in dead poultry" in the southeastern village of Topraisar, near Constanta, the eastern European country's veterinary sanitation agency said.

In Europe, the deadly H5N1 virus has also been found in Greece, Italy, Croatia and Bulgaria.