Scotland: No signs of bird flu spreading

Wildlife health officers wearing hazard suits, face masks, eye goggles and gloves scoured Scotland on Saturday, checking for dead and ailing birds in the wake of Britain's first confirmed case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Results confirmed on Saturday that five dead birds sent to a laboratory for testing were not infected with H5N1, Charles Milne, Scotland's chief veterinary officer said. He confirmed late Friday that tests on nine birds in Scotland and six swans in Northern Ireland had also proved negative for the strain, which has been linked to the deaths of 109 people since a wave of outbreaks swept through Asian poultry populations in late 2003. The Scottish government said 22 more dead birds have been collected for testing from a heavily policed protection zone close to the harbor town where a swan infected with H5N1 was discovered.