Bird flu is in Europe to stay

EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou warned Europeans during a visit to Athens yesterday that they had to «get used to» outbreaks of flu in the poultry sector. Kyprianou said he could not rule out new outbreaks of the disease, which can be fatal for humans, after it was discovered in Britain on the premises of Europe’s largest turkey producer. The commissioner urged Europeans not to be overly concerned and said the current climate of «panic» was not justified as the conditions needed for the disease to be transmitted to humans hardly exist in Europe. Kyprianou said that protection measures in Europe are adequate to combat bird flu, which has killed 166 people worldwide since 2003. Nobody in Greece has been killed by the H5N1 virus. The EU official was in Athens to launch a Greek-language version of the European Union’s health website ( Kyprianou said the website aims to give people reliable advice about health issues and ways to follow a healthy lifestyle.