Duck Dead from Mild Bird Flu

The Swedish National Veterinary Institute says the duck found dead west of Stockholm had a mild type of the avian influenza virus, and not the deadly form of the bird flu that has killed more than 60 people in Asia.

The institute tested four ducks found dead Friday in the Eskilstuna area. One was infected by a mild strain of the H5 virus. The institute’s chief veterinarian says this means the aggressive strain found in Asia and Russia, which has spread to Turkey and Romania, has not come to Sweden. He says the ducks probably died of some other illness and there is no cause for concern.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture says around 20 to 30 percent of wild ducks carry a mild form of the flu virus at this time of year. The board says the tests mean there is no need to strengthen its current recommendations that poultry farmers in central and southern Sweden bring birds inside or feed them in protected areas.

Meanwhile the Swedish Medical Products Agency says pharmacies here will only be allowed to sell 10 packages of the influenza medicine Tamiflu to each customer. This follows very large orders from two private companies. The agency says it wants to make sure supplies don’t run out.

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