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UPDATED: 09:07, March 06, 2006
Poland identifies H5 for first time
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Poland has detected the country's first two cases of H5 bird flu, the agriculture minister said yesterday.

Further tests were being conducted on the wild swans to determine if it is the deadly H5N1 strain, which has reached Poland's neighbours, including Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Agriculture Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel said the H5 virus was detected in the swans, which were found dead on Thursday in the centre of Torun, a northern city about 200 kilometres northwest of Warsaw.

An EU laboratory in Britain was conducting tests on samples from Poland and results were expected within days, Jurgiel said.

The Polish authorities have informed the European Commission and have taken precautionary measures.

They have established a high-risk area of 3 kilometres around the outbreak and a surveillance zone of 10 kilometres. Restrictions have also been placed on the six poultry farms and four processing plants in the region.

More cases in Switzerland, Romania

Meanwhile, Switzerland has discovered four further cases of the H5 bird flu virus in wild birds, the federal veterinary office said yesterday, bringing the total number of cases found so far to 11.

The virus was found in two dead ducks in Steckborn, a town in the canton (state) of Thurgau which borders Germany. A dead coot with the virus was found in the same canton while the fourth case was a coot discovered in the canton of Zurich.

Samples from the dead birds had been sent for tests at a laboratory in Britain and it would take a week before it was clear whether the birds died from the aggressive H5N1 form of the virus, the office said.

In Romania, new suspected cases were found in a Danube river village yesterday.

Source: China Daily

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- New case of H5N1 bird flu virus confirmed in Romania

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