Bird Flu Alarm

2006-02-10-Romania detects new cases of bird flu

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-02-10-Romania detects new cases of bird flu

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romanian authorities have begun culling fowl in a Danube Delta village after detecting new suspected cases of an H5 subtype of bird flu in poultry, officials said Thursday.

The virus was detected in preliminary tests on six chickens in a household farm in Jurilovca, a village located in the Danube Delta, said Gabriel Predoi, director of the National Animal Health Agency.

The village has been quarantined, and all vehicles entering or exiting the village are being disinfected. The deadly H5N1 type of bird flu was detected in October in the nearby delta villages of Maliuc and Ceamurlia de Jos.

Since October, bird flu has been detected periodically in birds in 26 villages, and authorities culled over 55,000 domestic birds and quarantined the areas for 21 days. Restrictions have been lifted in 24 of those villages. The H5N1 strain has been confirmed in most of those locations.

On Wednesday, authorities detected new suspected cases of an H5 subtype of the virus in the southwest village of Cetate, also located on the Danube River. The virus is believed to be spread by migratory birds.

World health authorities fear the H5N1 virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily from person to person and spark a human flu pandemic.

Understanding Avian Influenza