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Brussels, 13 February 2006

Avian Influenza: Highly pathogenic H5N1 virus confirmed in Greece

The European Commission has been informed that test results from the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge confirm that the outbreak of avian influenza in wild swans in Greece was caused by the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus. The results come from samples taken from 3 dead wild swans found in the prefectures of Thessaloniki and Pieria earlier this week. As the Commission already adopted a Decision on Friday, laying down strict safeguard measures to be applied in the affected areas of Thessaloniki and Pieria (see MEX/06/0210), no further EU measures need to be taken in relation to Greece at this time. The avian influenza situation in Greece and other affected countries will be reviewed by the Standing Committee on the Food and Chain and Animal Health which meets on 16-17 February.

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