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Ukraine Begins Slaughter of Birds after Detection of H5 Virus


Authorities in Ukraine have began the slaughter of fowl in Crimea, a day after an H5 subtype of bird flu was detected in five villages there.

President Viktor Yuschenko declared the affected villages be placed under a state of emergency on Saturday.

Samples from the birds are being sent to Britain and Italy to determine whether it is the deadly H5N1 strain that has killed nearly 70 people in Asia since 2003.

Meanwhile in Romania, authorities have quarantined the eastern village of Cioacile after at least three chickens tested positive for the H5 virus. There have been three other bird flu outbreaks in the country.

Health experts fear the avian virus could mutate into a form that could be easily transmitted between humans and kill millions of people.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.