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Bulgaria starts riverside watch over bird flu fearts

Date: 10.10.2005

Bulgaria has ordered a monitoring on wild and domestic birds at the Danube River side.

The measure comes after on the opposite bank Romania detected apparent bird flu.

Although Bulgaria has not uncovered any cases of the disease yet, the country is largely seen as the next most likely spot of the outbreak.

Awaiting the latest tests, Bulgaria is ready to suspend poultry imports from Romania.

On Sunday, inspectors from the central veterinary service were sent to Rousse, Silistra and Dobrich on the Danube riverside. The supervisors have to make sure that all safety measures are implemented correctly.

Meanwhile, Romania has sent samples for examination in London.

Tests should prove whether it was the H5N1 strain which has killed 65 people and millions of birds in Asia since 2003 and been registered in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Experts fear H5N1 could mutate into a disease that spreads easily among humans, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions, Israeli Haaretz says.

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