Bird Flu Detected
Outside Danube Delta

(Reuters) -- Romania has detected a new case of bird flu in a remote village outside the Danube delta, where the deadly H5N1 strain was discovered in October 2005, officials said on Saturday [26 Nov 2005].
A turkey tested positive for the H5 type of avian flu in the small village of Scarlatesti in the Braila county, some 70 miles (113 km) from the delta, Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur told private television station Realitatea TV.
He said quarantine was imposed on the village and that culling of domestic fowl should start soon as a precautionary move. "We imposed quarantine in the village," Flutur said. "The flu was probably brought by migratory birds." [Presumably they asked whether the bird had been recently purchased from a poultry farm in infected Tulcea county? - Mod.JW]
Flutur said the village, which has 50 houses, is isolated in an area of lakes, 3 km from the next village. [Lat 44:58:00N (44.9667), Lon: 27:11:00E (27.1833); map:
The Balkan state last month [October 2005] became the 1st country in mainland Europe to detect the deadly H5N1 virus in poultry in 2 villages in the Danube delta, Europe's largest wetlands, near the Black Sea. The Danube delta is a major resting place for migratory wild birds, the carriers of the virus.
Samples from the turkey will be sent to a laboratory in Weybridge, near London, to determine whether it is the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, the country's chief veterinarian, Ion Agafitei, told Reuters by phone. Agafitei did not say when the results would be known.
"We'll send the samples to Britain as we have done so far in other suspect cases," Agafitei said. "A vaccination campaign for the villagers [will] start soon, and we will also start culling around 17 000 domestic birds there." [This statement is very unclear. Since no human vaccine is available, "vaccination ... for the villagers" must mean for their poultry. In which case, why do they plan to cull? - Mod.JW]
Romania has not reported any cases of bird flu in humans so far.



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