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H5 in Domestic Poultry Confirmed in Romania

Recombinomics Commentary

October 13, 2005

"We hope it's a low intensity virus," said Romanian Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur.

The above comment is in response to lab data confirming that the dead poultry on the farm in Romania has been isolated and typed as H5.  Since 36 of the 100 birds had died, the chance of the H5 being low intensity was low.

However, of greater relevance is the fact that up to 1000 wild birds have been found dead in the area and the dead wild birds include whooper swans which have been found for the past several weeks.

Turkey has confirmed HPAI H5N1 and both Turkey and Romania are under the flight path of wild birds migrating from Siberia and the Urals in Russia, where HPAI H5N1 has been repeatedly documented (see map).

Moreover, officials in Europe are still trying to use the dead birds don't fly argument to bolster claims that the risk of H5N1 HPAI spread is low.

H5N1 wild bird flu was reported in long range migratory birds at Qinghai Lake in May.  These isolates had European swine genetic signatures.

When H5N1 was reported for the first time in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, it was clear that wild birds could efficiently transmit and transport H5N1 over long distances.  The isolates from Russia also had European genetic signatures.

H5N1 HPAI is on schedule to be distributed worldwide in the next 12 months.

The time for hopes and dreams has passed.

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