EU holds emergency talks after bird flu arrives

European Union foreign ministers hold emergency talks Tuesday on the widening bird flu scare, a day after tests in Greece indicated the virus has reac

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October 18, 2005 02:14
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European Union foreign ministers hold emergency talks Tuesday on the widening bird flu scare, a day after tests in Greece indicated the virus has reached the EU for the first time. The EU was preparing to ban sales of live birds and poultry from the Aegean Sea region of Chios pending tests on samples taken from turkeys feared infected with the deadly Asian H5N1 strain. Poultry from Turkey and Romania have already been banned by the EU as bird flu found there was confirmed as H5N1. Tests were also being carried out on birds in Bulgaria and Croatia. Officials said the foreign ministers are to discuss the international response to the westward spread of bird flu and take stock of EU nations' readiness to deal with a possible pandemic. On Thursday, EU health ministers open a two-day meeting at a conference center in Hertfordshire, England, to assess the state of national bird flu preparedness. There is no human vaccine for the current strain of bird flu but scientists believe the Tamiflu drug may help humans fight bird flu contraction.

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