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Romania'a Danube Delta is a habitat for many species of migratory birds 18 October 2005 -- European Union foreign ministers met today in Luxembourg for emergency talks on the threat of bird flu.

The meeting came as Romania said it found new cases of suspected bird flu in the Danube Delta, one of them close to the border with Ukraine.

Speaking at today's meeting, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said there is a "huge" effort under way to fight avian influenza.

"A huge amount of effort is going in to provide advice, assistance to Greece, to Romania, to Turkey, to the Russian Federation, and to other countries around the world, a great deal of effort to ensure that there are adequate contingency plans to deal with any transfer of avian flu to humans," Straw said.

Straw said the EU must act to reassure the public that it can deal effectively with a feared pandemic as outbreaks of the disease increase.

On 15 October, British tests identified in two Romanian villages the H5N1 strain of bird flu. The same strain has also been detected in birds in Turkey. A dead turkey in Greece is being tested today for the same virus.

Bird flu has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003.

(Reuters/AFP/AP)

See also:

Turkey: Bird Flu Suspected In Chicken Deaths

Global Response Against Possible Bird Flu Pandemic Gathering Force

Bird Flu FAQ
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