Bird Flu Update

Four wild ducks found in southern Sweden have tested positive for an aggressive strain of bird flu.

The National Veterinary Institute said tests have confirmed that the birds carried a highly pathogenic virus of the H5 type, but it was not immediately clear whether it was the deadly H5N1 strain.

Two other wild ducks found in the same area near the south-eastern coastal city of Oskarshamn, about 250 kilometres South of Stockholm, tested positive for the same virus last week.

Restrictions were imposed on handling poultry in the area and part of the coastline was sealed off as authorities searched for more dead birds. Experts said the new cases were expected and would not lead to any additional protective measures.