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First bird flu virus confirmed in Sweden

THE European Union’s (EUs) reference laboratory in Britain has confirmed Sweden’s first cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, in two wild ducks found dead last month, the Swedish Board of Agriculture said today.

THE European Union’s (EUs) reference laboratory in Britain has confirmed Sweden’s first cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, in two wild ducks found dead last month, the Swedish Board of Agriculture said today.

“The EU laboratory in Weybridge has now confirmed that it is the H5N1 virus, just like we thought,” Berndt Klingeborn, a virologist with the National Veterinary Institute, said in a statement from the Board of Agriculture.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu, in its most aggressive form, has killed nearly 100 people worldwide.

The two tufted ducks were found dead in Oskarshamn, on Sweden’s Southeastern coast, at the end of

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February.

Since then, Swedish officials have confirmed 29 cases of the H5 subtype of bird flu in Sweden, of which 15 have been proven to be a highly pathogenic form of the virus, but so far only the two tufted ducks have been confirmed as carriers of the H5N1 strain.

First published on: 18-03-2006 at 06:56:53 am
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