Romania has more avian flu outbreaks

Dec 2, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Romania has reported three new outbreaks of avian influenza this week, while a mild strain of avian flu has surfaced in North Carolina turkeys, according to news services.

Dozens of chickens were found dead in the southeastern Romanian villages of Bumbacari and Dudescu, which lie outside the Danube River delta, according to Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg News reports. The viral strain was not listed.

In addition, an H5 virus was found in live and dead hens in the Danube delta village of Periprava, according to Bloomberg. The story said health workers plan to kill almost 9,500 birds in the three villages, which have been quarantined.

An agriculture official said samples from the infected birds would be sent to England for testing for H5N1 viruses, according to the report.

H5N1 avian flu surfaced in Romania in early October. Most outbreaks so far have been in the Danube delta, whose wetlands are home to many wild birds.

Turkeys on a farm in eastern North Carolina tested positive for a low-pathogenic H3N2 strain of avian flu, according to a Reuters report published by MSNBC today.

The US Department of Agriculture said the low-pathogenic avian flu has been found elsewhere in the United States this year, according to the story. It is not a threat to humans.

Poultry exports from Sampson County, where the affected farm lies, and neighboring counties were suspended for 30 days as of Nov 29, the report said.

In Ethiopia, officials were testing pigeons for avian flu after hundreds of the birds died near the capital, Addis Ababa, and in an eastern Somali region, according to a BBC News report.

No avian flu cases have been found in Africa, but there is concern that migratory birds from Europe will carry the disease there this winter.

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