Bird Flu Now in Europe?

Health experts are concerned that bird flu has spread to Europe. An MSNBC.com article says that three domestic ducks that have died in Romania are strongly suspected to have been killed by H5N1, the strain of avian flu that experts fear could mutate into a global pandemic.
H5N1 has infected 116 people in Asia, killing 60 � but experts are more worried the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily between people. That could trigger a human flu pandemic.

The best defense against a pandemic is to stamp out any outbreak in birds before the virus has a chance to change.

The dead birds were first noticed in the remote eastern village of Ceamurlia de Jos near the Black Sea in late September, Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said. Samples were sent to a lab in Bucharest, where scientists found antibodies to bird flu.
A recent study done on sample of 1918 flu virus, which could millions around the globe, found that the 1918 flu virus was also a strain of avian flu. This has increased fears that a deadly pandemic flu could emerge from H5N1.

Posted on October 9, 2005

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