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Bird-flu scare forces Croatia to halt imports from Hungary


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday January 24, 2007

Zagreb- Croatian authorities stopped all poultry imports from Hungary Wednesday after Hungarian officials reported a possible case of bird flu in the country's south-eastern county of Csongrad. Hungarian media reported on Tuesday that five geese were found dead and about 40 had fallen ill at a farm keeping some 3,300 geese.

The dead birds are currently being tested in Budapest for the extremely infectious H5N1 strain of the lethal avian influenza virus, which may infect humans and has caused dozens of deaths in recent years.

Hungary's last bird-flu crisis occurred in June 2006, causing authorities to cull close to a million birds before all restrictions on exports were lifted in August.

The Croatian Agriculture Ministry issued the ban on poultry imports as a precaution until the diagnosis and level of the problem are confirmed.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency