UPDATE 2-Bird flu breaks out in Romania, near Ukraine

Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:27pm GMT

* EU executive reports Romanian H5N1 flu outbreak

* Romania confirms, awaits UK laboratory tests

* Exclusion zone enforced across 20 km

* Wild bird migration routes could spread virus

(Adds Romanian comment, background)

By Pete Harrison and Radu Marinas

BRUSSELS/BUCHAREST, March 16 (Reuters) - Romania has identified an outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm close to Ukraine and enforced a 20 km-wide surveillance zone around it, the European Union's executive said on Tuesday.

The outbreak of the H5N1 virus in the commune of Letea near the Ukrainian border is on a key migratory pathway for wild birds, which could aid its spread.

"Romania's national laboratory confirmed yesterday that the outbreak concerns the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza," the European Commission said in a statement.   Continued...

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