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UN Health Official Predicts Bird-Flu Outbreaks In Ukraine

Bird-migration areas are particularly vulnerable (AFP) 1 November 2005 -- A World Health Organization official says further outbreaks of bird flu are expected in Europe, and that Ukraine and Greece are the most likely to detect the virus next.

Bernardus Ganter of the WHO's European regional office spoke today in Copenhagen. His remarks came after Greek health officials announced on 29 October that a suspected case of the most virulent strain of bird flu there proved to be false.

Ganter said Greece and Ukraine are at risk because they are on the migration routes of wild birds traveling from countries where the potentially deadly H5N1 strain has already been detected, including Croatia and Russia. H5N1 has also been found in Romania and Turkey.

Ganter said health officials need to carefully monitor bird-migration areas in order to contain the virus.