Lethal Strain of Bird-Flu confirmed in Bavarian Water Birds

At least three water birds found dead in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg were infected with a strain of bird flu that can be lethal to humans.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s Federal Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection said a total of three birds had tested positive for the worst strain of the H5N1 virus.

Veterinary experts at the Friedrich Löffler Institute 

the government’s top veterinary laboratory,on the island of Riems in the north of Germany determined that two swans and a wild duck had contracted the H5N1 bird flu strain.

Tests on the other five animals were continuing. “I expect that these are infected, as well,” said Karin Koester, spokeswoman for the office of veterinary medicine in Bavaria.

In the meantime, officials ordered that all poultry farmers in the exclusion zone keep their animals indoors. Pet owners were warned not to let their dogs or cats roam free in the affected area.

The German Authorities have passed this information on to the European Commission.

The European Commission said that a regional laboratory in Bavaria and a German national laboratory had both confirmed the presence of the strain in several dead birds.

Here is a link for the news item re the above story from Reuters:

http://in.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2007-06-24T194423Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_India-281502-1.xml&archived=False

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