Three more bird flu cases in Bulgaria

Authorities said today that three wild swans found dead in eastern Bulgaria had tested positive for the highly virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The three swans were found last week in wetlands in eastern Bulgaria near the Black sea coast. Until then, Bulgaria had only one confirmed case of the deadly virus – found a week ago, also in a dead swan.

The EU reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, confirmed H5N1 in the latest samples, Bulgaria’s veterinary service said in a statement.

Agriculture Minister Nihat Kabil said no bird flu cases had been reported among domestic birds.

Precautions have been enforced in six mile risk zones around the places where the sick swans were found, the veterinary service said.

Experts are performing daily checks on domestic birds in these areas and are disinfecting vehicles and shoes at the entrance of poultry farms. Traffic around the wetlands has also been restricted.

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