First bird flu found in swan in Scotland

April 6, 2006 at 10:13 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, April 6 (UPI) -- The first case of bird flu in Scotland had British authorities on high alert Thursday after a dead swan tested positive for the disease.

The bird was found in the region of Fife on the east coast Wednesday, and has tested positive for the H5 virus, although further testing was under way to determine if it had the H5N1 strain.

A 2-mile exclusion zone was being put in place around the small fishing community of Cellardyke Wednesday night, and residents were told all domestic fowl must be kept indoors, the Financial Times reported.

The British government's civil emergency response agency, COBRA, was activated, and a full-scale emergency plan was expected to be released Thursday, the newspaper said.

The H5N1 virus has killed more than 100 people who had contact with infected birds since 2002. Most of the deaths have been in Southeast Asia, but the disease has spread into Europe among migratory birds.

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