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February 13, 2006

Dead swans test positive for H5 in Greece

Samples from the swans have been sent to the European Union's laboratory in England for further testing to see if the virus is the deadly H5N1 strain, which has killed four people in neighbouring Turkey.

Final results on the birds, found in three separate areas around the Thermaikos Gulf south of the city of Thessaloniki, are expected to be known within seven days.

"The state mechanism is on alert," Agriculture Minister Evangelos Bassiakos said in a statement. "We urge calm as all the precautionary veterinary and health measures are being taken."

Vets near Thessaloniki visited people keeping poultry to ensure all precautionary measures, such as keeping all birds locked in barns and away from migratory flocks, are being enforced.

From Reuters via Yahoo!. Here's the reaction of one local to the news:

"As soon as I heard of this disease, I killed my chickens and ate them or gave them to friends," an elderly man in the town of Neoi Epivates, where one of the swans was found, told Greek television.

Posted by dymaxion at February 13, 2006 12:36 PM

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