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Romania confronts possible first human case of bird flu

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Romania confronts possible first human case of bird flu


Romania may have its first human case of avian influenza. A Turkish citizen was admitted to a hospital in Bucharest on Wednesday night with bird flu-like symptoms.

Romania has been on alert as the virus spreads westwards across neighbouring Turkey, where two people are known to have died of the disease and many more are thought to have been infected. Countries to the east of Turkey have also taken action. Georgia has tightened controls on goods crossing the border and Iran has decided to cull poultry within 15 kilometres of the Turkish frontier. The European Union has banned imports of live birds and risky poultry products such as fresh meat and untreated feathers from affected areas. In Turkey and neighbouring countries, authorities have tried to increase awareness of the importance of hygiene when handling birds. So far there is no evidence that the potentially lethal H5N1 strain of the virus can jump from one human to another but the World Health Organisation says that threat is growing. Experts have been discussing the risks of a global pandemic that could kill millions at a conference in Tokyo, organised by the WHO. They say governments should intensify preventive measures.
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