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Bulgaria takes precautionary measures over bird flu threat

Date: 16.10.2005

Precautionary measures have been launched in Bulgaria following the confirmation of the bird flu cases in the country's northern neighbor Romania, Agriculture Minister Nihat Kabil announced.

Minister Kabil said that a strain of avian influenza has been detected in samples from Romanian ducks. Bulgaria's Agriculture minister explained that scientists have detected the H5 bird flu virus in samples taken from three ducks found in the Danube delta.

Should scientist confirm that this virus is dangerous for the people, a crisis headquarters will be immediately established, Kabil underlined. In his words Bulgaria is ready to react to the threat and precautionary measures have already been undertaken.

Fears about a Bulgarian outbreak have so far proved unfounded, although three dead wild birds are being tested.

Earlier in the day Romania's authorities and the European Commission confirmed that a strain of avian influenza has been detected in samples from Romanian ducks. Officials in Romania announced plans to slaughter thousands more birds to prevent the disease from spreading.

Test results on separate samples from Turkey are expected later in the week.

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