People on the tiny Greek island where bird flu has been discovered face an agonising wait. Action has already begun to contain the outbreak but locals will not know for several days if the virus detected in a turkey is the H5N1 strain which is potentially deadly for humans.
Residents themselves are being closely monitored for flu symptoms. Innousses is just off the coast of Turkey where H5N1 was discovered. The islanders knew migrating wild birds could bring the disease to their shores. “I don’t know what it is. We’ve gone mad I tell you,” one woman said. “I haven’t slept since yesterday because I’m frightened.” She said it was her husband who asked the authorities to come and take blood samples. Another resident appeared less alarmed but is taking no chances: “The current climate is a little bit panicky, we’re worried a little for the small children but I believe it’s not anything too serious.” Greece has banned the export of live birds and poultry meat from Inousses and neighbouring islands. While health concerns are paramount the alert is likely to have some impact on the local economy.