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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:46, February 13, 2006
Slovenia urges calm over first case of bird flu
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The Slovenian authorities urged on Sunday all people to take caution but remain calm over the fact that the first case of bird flu was registered in the country, said reports reaching here from Ljubljana.

"People should stay away from wild birds - they should not feed them or try to touch them," said Cadonic Spelic, head of Slovenia's Veterinary Administration.

The veterinary watchdog received a report late on Saturday that a mute swan, which was found dead early on Thursday near Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia, was infected with the H5 strain of the bird flu virus.

Samples were being sent to the EU's reference laboratory in Britain's Weybridge, to confirm whether the virus is that of deadly H5N1 strain, Spelic told the Slovene Press Agency, adding that results should be back within a week.

The Slovenian government called for calm, saying that the confirmation of the H5 strain of bird flu in a wild bird does not represent a grave danger for the health of Slovenians.

Meanwhile, the country's Health Ministry said that the bird flu is only rarely passed on to people. It said that people should avoid unnecessary contact with birds, but that the consumption of cooked poultry does not present a health risk.

Source: Xinhua

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