Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Avain Flu Moves To Sweden

The Bird Flu continues to spread throughout the EU countries, with strains of the H5N1 virus now found in Sweden:

PARIS (Reuters) - Avian flu, which has hit a French poultry farm, will probably spread to domestic flocks in other European states, experts said on Tuesday, as Sweden became the latest country to report an outbreak...

Cases in wild birds have appeared across Europe, the latest in Sweden which said on Tuesday it had detected its first cases of an "aggressive form of bird flu" -- though it was not yet confirmed as the deadly H5N1 strain -- in two wild ducks.

"The virus has been found in wild birds in the region of Oskarshamn (on Sweden's southeast coast)," the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it appeared to be the same strain as detected in Russia and China, both of which have been hit by outbreaks of H5N1, but that was still to be confirmed.

Not surprisingly, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has cut its estimate for global poultry consumption by around 3 million tons.

And now Budapest is on alert.