Saturday, October 15, 2005

Romanian results: H5N1

The news (via ProMed) on the H5 virus found in Romania, while expected, isn't good.
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, told Reuters.

A European Commission spokesman in Brussels said: "We are waiting for the results which are supposed to be coming from Britain at about 1 p.m (1100 GMT) (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," the spokesman, Robert Soltyk, said.
According to USAToday, Romania has quarantined the residents of the village in the Danube delta where the infected birds were found and continued to slaughter thousands of fowl in the area. Officials were in an emergency Saturday meeting to discuss government response to the crisis.
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. (Reuters)
H5N1 is now officially in Europe. Next stop, Middle East and Africa.