"Aggressive" Bird Flu found in Sweden

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An "aggressive" strain of Avian Flu has been detected in two tufted ducks in Oskarshamn, Southeast Sweden.

This makes Sweden the ninth country in the EU to confirm Avian Flu on their soil.

Some 35–40 wild birds were found dead. The birds were brought to Uppsala, where an analysis confirmed the presence of an "aggressive" form of Avian Flu. Tests at a laboratory in the UK will later eventually confirm whether the birds died of the lethal H5N1.

Sweden's Minister of Agriculture, Ann-Christin Nykvist, said at a press conference the discovery was "serious but not unexpected." Sweden has been on high alert since the virus was found on the German island Rügen in the Baltic Sea.

Two security zones are being established around the location where the birds were found. Dead birds will be destroyed and domestic stocks in the affected area will be monitored.