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Romania steps up measures to prevent spread of bird flu

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Romania steps up measures to prevent spread of bird flu

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Bucharest has said it wants to coordinate efforts with neighbouring countries to prevent bird flu from spreading. Thousands of animals are being culled and a mass disinfections operation is underway in Romania, one of three countries on the European continent where the presence of the deadly virus has been confirmed.

Authorities have cordoned off parts of the Danube delta where animals carrying the lethal H5N1 strain have been found. Tests so far have revealed that bird flu, which emerged in South Korea in 2003, has spread to Russia, Turkey and Romania. Analysts in Romania are predicting a sharp drop in profits from poultry products by the end of the year.

In Turkey, a fresh alert has been called following the discovery of thousands of dead chickens after reports that the danger was over in the west of the country. European countries such as Britain are preparing for what health officials are warning could become a pandemic if the virus combines with human flu by stockpiling anti-viral drugs.