EU lab confirms Hungary bird flu


Jan 29, 2007

The European Union has confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found on a farm in Hungary.

A spokesman said tests at the EU's approved laboratory in Weybridge, south of London, had confirmed the results announced by Hungary last week.

A flock of 3,000 geese on the infected farm near Szentes in southern Hungary has been destroyed.

It is the EU's first case of bird flu for about six months.

Hungary alerted the EU last week after it detected the outbreak.

The virus first appeared in the country in February last year in wild geese, swans and domestic poultry.

The current tests were carried out after an abnormally high mortality rate was reported in the flock of geese.

Croatia reacted by immediately banning poultry imports from Hungary.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu is deadly to humans and has killed more than 150 people, mostly in Asia, since it emerged in late 2003.

Scientists fear it could combine with a human flu virus to mutate into a disease similar to the Spanish flu that killed millions of people after World War I.