30 more birds found dead in eastern Romania

More than 30 birds were found dead in eastern Romania over the weekend, authorities said Monday. The country's health minister urged calm, saying there was no confirmation the fowl were infected with bird flu.

The new reports of dead fowl came just days after Romanian officials said Friday that three domestic ducks died of bird flu last month. Samples from those birds were being tested in Britain for possible infection with the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which experts are tracking for fears it could mutate and spawn a human flu pandemic.

The H5N1 strain, which has not yet been confirmed in Europe, has killed dozens of people in Asia.

Romania moved quickly last week to contain and track a possible bird flu outbreak. Grigore Mertoiu, head of health and veterinary in the Constanta region, said all farms were ordered to report bird deaths.

On Saturday, a dead swan found on a beach in the Black Sea port of Constanta similarly tested positive for bird flu antibodies.

On Sunday, authorities began killing thousands of household birds and banned the movement of animals from affected areas in eastern Romania. Some 40,000 more domestic birds are to be killed in the next few days.

Food and water was delivered Monday to the village of Ceamurlia de Jos, where movement of animals and humans was restricted after the ducks were found to have died of bird flu, reports the AP. I.L.

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