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Nov 28, 2007 18:58 EEST
November 28 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday banned domestic trade in live birds in seven regions to prevent the spread of an outbreak of bird flu disease from neighbouring Romania.
The ban was levied on live bird trade in the northern regions of Ruse, Varna, Silistra, Shumen, Dobrich, Razgrad and the eastern region of Burgas after Romanian authorities reported a case of the highly infectious H5N1 avian influenza in the southeastern county of Tulcea, on the Danube River.
Currently, there is no detected H5N1 bird flu strain in Bulgaria.
Caucasus and the southern Balkans are high-risk areas for the spread of avian flu, according to studies of the United Nations. The H5N1 virus, potentially deadly to humans, has been detected in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece since October 2005, but all outbreaks were successfully contained.
Romania, which lies to the north of Bulgaria and is crossed by one of the major routes of migratory birds in Europe, has been hit hard by avian flu outbreaks in domestic birds. It has detected more than 50 outbreaks of the H5N1 virus subtype in its southern regions since reporting the first case in October 2005. The country has not reported any cases of bird flu in humans.
The H5N1 avian influenza strain has so far killed 206 of the 335 people that have been infected worldwide, data of the World Health Organization showed.
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