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Wild Bird Deaths Reported in Pleven District in Bulgaria
October 10, 2005
The District Epizootic Committee has received three signals of dead birds, found in the region - a heron in Pleven, a stork in Disevitsa village and a hen in Debovo village. The birds have been collected and sent in for analysis.
The above description of three dead birds in three regions of Bulgaria is not a surprise. Bulgaria lies between Romania and Turkey and the three locations cited above begin to draw a line along the western side of the Black Sea (see map).
Confirmation of H5N1 wild bird flu is not assured in these three instances, but confirmation of H5N1 in Bulgaria is likely in the coming weeks, as is confirmation in virtually all countries adjacent to the Black and Caspian Seas.
Birds that summer in Siberia winter in these areas and H5N1 infections have been widespread in Russia. As H5N1 is reported fro the first time in these European countries, it will be increasingly clear that H5N1 is greatly expanding its geographical range via long range migratory birds, and in the next 12 months will likely cover the world.
This dramatic expansion increases the likelihood of recombination to produce a lethal H5N1 that is efficiently spread from human-to-human and igniting a major pandemic.