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Iran, India, Austria Confirm Bird Flu

(RFE/RL) 18 February 2006 -- Iran today confirmed that a batch of 135 dead swans found in the northern province of Gilan have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The cases are the first time the virus has been detected in Iran.

The announcement was made by Iranian veterinary chief Hossein Hassani.

India today also confirmed its first cases of bird flu.

An agricultural official in the western Maharashtra state, Anees Ahmed, said dead poultry in the state has tested positive for the H5N1 bird-flu virus. Ahmed said about 50,000 birds have died in the past few days in the region.

Also today, Austrian media reported that a swan found dead in Vienna was infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Meanwhile, Indonesia today said that a laboratory in the United States has confirmed that a 23-year-old man who died on 10 February had been sick with bird flu.

(compiled from agency reports)

Affected Areas

Affected Areas

Click on the map for a closer view of the areas within RFE/RL's broadcast region where cases of diseased fowl have been confirmed. Last updated on February 20.

BIRD FLU, or avian influenza, continues to menace scattered areas from East Asia, where the disease first appeared, to Southeastern and Eastern Europe and beyond. Authorities around the world are bracing themselves -- and, more importantly, planning and taking measures to fight the disease wherever it appears.

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