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Germany's first case of avian influenza


[NUREMBERG, Germany]—Avian influenza has been confirmed in two wild swans found dead in Germany and authorities there are applying precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The European Commission said the H5N1 strain of avian flu was detected in the two birds found dead in the Bavarian province of Nuremberg. German authorities are applying measures established by the Commission to stop the virus from spreading.

The Commission measures call for the establishment of control and monitoring areas in the vicinity where the dead birds were found. Inside the control area, bio-security measures at farms have to be strengthened, hunting of wild birds is banned, movement of poultry is forbidden except where the products have undertaken European Union food controls and other precautions are required.

The two infected swans are the first cases of wild birds infected with the virus in Germany in 2007. The H5N1 strain has been confirmed in geese and turkeys this year at farms in Hungary, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, according to the Commission.

By Michael Bradford