BRUSSELS - May 31/06 - SNS -- Tests of almost 60,000 wild birds in the February through May period discovered 741 cases of birds infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, but a "positive decline in the incidence of the disease in wild birds in Europe has also been noted over the past weeks," European Union officials state.
The wild bird cases were discovered in 13 Member States – Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and UK.
There have been only four outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry in the European Union, and all of these were swiftly eradicated following detection. No human case of the H5N1 virus has occurred in the European Union.
"There is considerable variation in the number of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds, ranging from 326 in Germany to 1 in the UK," the officials said in a statement....
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