The EU was readying precautionary measures Thursday, including the stockpiling of more anti-viral drugs, amid confirmation that the bird flu virus found in Turkish poultry was the H5N1 strain that scientists worry might mutate and cause a pandemic in humans.
An EU laboratory confirmed the virus found in Turkish poultry was the strain linked to the deaths of 60 people in Asia, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said.
Tests late Wednesday in Romania came back positive for bird flu, and scientists have narrowed the strain to an H5 type virus.
The confirmation set off a slew of emergency talks of EU veterinary experts here, tasked with reviewing preventative measures to ensure the strain does not enter the 25-nation bloc.
"This is the first time it has come so close to Europe," said Debby Reynolds, Britain's chief veterinary officer for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. The agency oversees the lab that tested the samples.