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Officials Say Bird Flu Poses Greatest Threat In Asia

Geese in Russia's Tula Oblast (file photo) (AFP) 24 October 2005 -- Health officials said today Europe is well prepared to deal with an outbreak of bird flu, but must not become complacent in fighting the disease.

Speaking at the start of the three-day meeting in the Danish capital Copenhagen, health experts from Europe and Asia said bird flu still poses the greatest threat in Asia, where more than 60 people have died from the virus since 2003.

In the Canadian capital Ottawa, health officials from more than 30 countries also started a two-day conference to synchronize an international effort to stop the spread of the avian flu virus.

Meanwhile, Russian officials said a new outbreak of the H5N1 strain has been detected, this time in the central region of Tambov.

H5N1 is the strain that poses a serious risk to humans. It is spread by migrating wild birds and has recently been found in birds in Russia, Turkey, and Romania.