Officials in Romania says they are doing all they can to stop the spread of the deadly strain of bird flu that has been found in the Danube delta region. Poultry is being slaughtered, cleaning operations are underway and doctors are going door-to-door in the affected areas to work out how many people face the risk of becoming infected.
Tests carried out in Britain confirmed that the H5N1 strain of the virus, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia, were found in three ducks in the Romanian village of Cearmulia de Jos. Officials are promising strict precautions, even though no human cases of birdflu have so far been reported in Romania or Turkey, which also confirmed H5N1 among domestic fowl last week. The Danube delta, Europe’s largest wetlands near the Black Sea, is a major way station for migratory birds heading from Russia, where the virus has also been found, towards the warmer climate of North Africa. The outbreak in northwestern Turkey appears to have been contained for now – experts say early tests on 1,000 chickens that died in the east of the country do not appear to show up birdflu. It is feared the virus could mutate and spread easily among humans, creating a pandemic.