Concerns over bird flu in Europe have eased after it was announced tests on suspected cases in Romania have so far proved negative.
Romanian authorities have been slaughtering thousands of farm birds in a bid to contain a feared outbreak. The results were released by the European Commission. Spokesman Philip Tod:
“All the virological tests carried out to date in Romania have proven negative for the presence of the avian influenza virus. So every day that passes reassures our confidence that there is not an outbreak of avian influenza in Romania.”
However, the EU said it planned to extend its ban on imports of live birds from Turkey where an outbreak was discovered at the weekend. Three suspected cases have also been reported in Bulgaria.
EU veterinary officials have been reviewing the suspected outbreaks. Experts fear that the virus could mutate and start to spread rapidly among people killing millions around the world.
Test results due on Friday are expected to show whether Turkey has a low-risk strain or the H5N1 virus which has killed more than 60 people in Asia.