Georgia Finds H5N1 Virus in Wild Swans

Monday, February 27, 2006

TBILISI, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Georgia has found the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in wild swans, the head of the veterinary department at Georgia's Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.

"A laboratory in Georgia has established (the existence of) the H5N1 bird flu virus," Jambul Maglakelidze told Reuters, after tests on wild swans found on its Black Sea coast, near the border with Turkey.

The announcement confirms the first case of bird flu in Georgia, which borders Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The swans were found in a village in Adzhara, a semi-autonomous region not far from the Turkish city of Trabzon.

President Mikhail Saakashvili has declared a state of emergency in the area and domestic birds were being culled in the area around the village where the swans were found.

Reut07:22 02-27-06

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