From: Reuters
Published December 8, 2007 04:50 PM

Fourth H5N1 bird flu centre found in Poland

WARSAW (Reuters) - A fourth centre of H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in central Poland, about 50 km (30 miles) from three sites found last week, chief veterinary officer Ewa Lech said on Saturday.

The emergency services, following a standard procedure, set up a three-km (1.9-mile) safety perimeter around the site.

"The problem is the farm on which the virus was found is a big one, tens of thousands of birds," Lech told Reuters.

The latest cases of the virus were the first of bird flu among poultry as opposed to wild birds reported earlier. They are also the first cases of the deadly H5N1 virus in Poland since 2006, when several swans were infected.

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Last week the virus, which most likely spread through feed polluted with wild bird feces, hit three turkey farms. As a result, over 11,000 infected birds were killed.

The European Union and border states such as Ukraine and Belarus on Monday imposed a ban on poultry products from the region with the outbreak.

Poland's agriculture ministry scheduled a press conference on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EST.

(Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski; Editing by Caroline Drees)

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