Lab confirms bird flu in Romanian capital

ROMANIA - Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of birds infected with avian flu in the Romanian capital for the first time since it was detected in poultry in the Danube delta last October, officials said on Sunday.

Romania has reported more than 20 bird flu outbreaks over the past week, mostly in the central county of Brasov, just a month after the strain was said to have been eradicated in the Black Sea state.

Gabriel Predoi, a top official at the Animal Health Agency, said a bird flu strain was found in samples taken from dead chickens on the outskirts of Bucharest.

"The H5 virus was confirmed in samples from Bucharest's Sector 2," Predoi told Reuters. "We will quarantine the area and start culling all domestic birds."

Predoi said the samples would be sent to a reference laboratory in Weybridge, Britain, to determine, whether they contained the H5N1 strain, deadly to humans. Results for other suspect cases in another area were not yet available, he said.

calendar icon 22 May 2006
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