More measures for deadly flu

The Agriculture Ministry said that it will intensify measures aimed at protecting Greece’s borders from bird flu after Albania confirmed yesterday that the H5N1 strain of the virus has been detected in a chicken in the country’s south. «The ministry issued an urgent circular which instructs [the relevant] services to increase the necessary measures,» said Agriculture Minister Evangelos Bassiakos. The H5N1 virus was discovered in a domestic chicken found dead on February 28 in the Albanian village of Cukes, near Saranda, a coastal town about 50 kilometers north of the Greek border. Bassiakos added that the government is prepared and will adopt measures calmly, although one in two Greeks have already dropped chicken from the dinner table, according to a study. A worldwide survey prepared by Synovate showed yesterday that 14 percent of Greeks believe that there will be a pandemic in 2006, while one-third replied that the threat of bird flu makes them more concerned about the future.