Bird flu outbreak spreads to Mediterranean

6th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 5, 2006 (AFP) - Two new cases of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu strain were reported Sunday in France, including one in a previously unaffected region near the Mediterranean in the south of the country.

PARIS, March 5, 2006 (AFP) - Two new cases of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu strain were reported Sunday in France, including one in a previously unaffected region near the Mediterranean in the south of the country.

A wild swan found dead on February 28 in Saint-Mitre-les-Ramparts near the Berre lagoon, close to Marseille, was carrying the H5N1 strain of avian flu, the agricultural ministry told AFP.

A wild duck in the central-eastern Ain department near Switzerland, where all of the previously reported cases of the disease have been located, also died of the disease, the ministry said.

The new cases of H5N1, which the ministry said were confirmed by the state food security agency, follow on the heels of nearly 30 other H5N1 cases which have been reported since a first outbreak was made public on February 18.

A commercial turkey farm in the Ain region has also been hit with the disease. Parts of the region are under a virtual quarantine to prevent the further spread to France's poultry industry, Europe's largest.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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