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Culling Begins In Romania After Bird Flu Confirmed

Avian flu has already devastated poultry flocks in Asia (file photo) 8 October 2005 -- Authorities in Romania have begun to cull birds from a region in the Danube Delta to prevent the spread of avian flu after three birds tested positive for the virus in Ceamurlia de Jos.

A quarantine was imposed on Ceamurlia de Jos yesterday, when the cases, which involve three infected ducks, and follow-up tests were announced.

Further tests are being conducted to determine whether the virus might be harmful to humans.

Officials said a government crisis center has been established to coordinate efforts.

Romania's chief veterinarian, Ion Agafitei, was quoted by Reuters as saying that at least 220 domestic birds have been killed in the area where those cases appeared, and "the process is ongoing and will continue."

The Danube Delta is a major wetland area that serves as a migratory area for wild birds from Russia and other parts of Europe.

Outside of Asia, where it has killed at least 60 people and devastated poultry flocks, according to dpa, the avian-flu virus has so far been confirmed in six regions of Russia and in Kazakhstan.

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