Geese suspected of having deadly bird flu found on farm in southern Hungary

Some 30-40 geese suspected of having been infected by the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus have been found on a farm in southeastern Hungary, animal health officials said Tuesday.

The geese including several which had died and others showing signs of damaged nervous systems were discovered on a farm in Csongrad County, Chief Veterinarian Miklos Suth said.

He added that 1,600 geese had been culled on Monday and the rest of the 3,300 birds on the farm would be killed Tuesday.

Suth said samples would be sent to the European Union laboratory at Weybridge, England, only if local tests could confirm the presence of the virus.

Test results were expected within two to three days if the virus was present and up to two weeks if the samples appeared to be negative.

Suth said that, based on information from the farm's employees, the geese may have been infected by wild ducks at a nearby stream, reports AP.

The normal preventive measures to avoid the spread of the disease were in place, Suth added.

Hungary's first case of H5N1, detected in February 2006, was found to be carried by wild birds including swans and gray geese, while the deadly virus was first found in domestic poultry in June.

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