List of H5 cases gets longer

The number of birds detected with the H5 strain of bird flu grew yesterday as authorities said that they have come across three more cases of the virus in northern Greece. The Agriculture Ministry said that two swans with the disease – which only kills birds – were found in Rhodope and that a third swan had been located in Halkidiki. Samples are being sent to the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge, England, for H5N1 confirmation tests. On Thursday, the results from England were not good as the government confirmed two cases of the deadly H5N1 strain in wild swans located also in northern Greece. In a bid to calm down jittery residents, authorities repeated yesterday that they are well prepared to handle the situation and that the right measures have been taken. The deadly H5N1 strain has so far remained restricted to migratory birds in Greece. However, officials in Egypt said yesterday that the disease had infected chickens for the first time.

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