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Deadly Strain of Bird Flu Confirmed in Hungary


European Union officials have confirmed the first outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in an EU country this year.

European Commission officials say laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the deadly strain in geese found dead in Csongrad County in southeastern Hungary. They say tests were conducted because of an abnormally high mortality rate among the birds. Hungarian officials have slaughtered all 3,000 birds in the affected flock. They also have set up a three-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the area.

The discovery is the first in an EU country since last August. EU experts are to meet Friday to review the situation.

Meanwhile, Croatia has banned poultry imports from Hungary following the announcement.

Bird flu has killed more than 150 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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