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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Swedish bird flu case 'not H5N1'
Several countries have reported bird flu cases
Swedish veterinary experts examining a duck that died of bird flu have found it was not infected with the lethal H5N1 strain.

Sweden's board of agriculture said the bird was carrying a mild, low risk type of the influenza virus.

The virus was detected in Eskilstuna, west of the capital Stockholm.

In Europe, the H5N1 strain that has killed more than 60 people in Asia has been found in Romania, Turkey, the UK and Russia and is suspected in Greece.

Ban 'coming'

"The ducks that were analysed during the night by the National Veterinary Institute did not carry the aggressive type of bird flu virus," the board said in a statement.

Tests carried out in the UK showed that a parrot that died while in British quarantine had the H5N1 strain.

Samples from Croatia and Macedonia are also being tested.

The UK government called for a ban on wild bird imports to the European Union after the incidence of the disease in its territory.

European Commission spokesman Stefaan de Rynck said a decision would be made on Tuesday regarding such a ban.

Principally an avian disease, first seen in humans in Hong Kong in 1997
Almost all human cases thought to be contracted from birds
Possible cases of human-to-human transmission in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, but none confirmed

Experts fear a bird flu pandemic if it mutates to spread easily among humans.

A seven-year-old boy in Thailand tested positive for bird flu on Friday, two days after his father died from the disease.

But Siriraj Hospital stressed they did not believe the boy, who is recovering, had caught the virus from his father.

Taiwan has responded to bird flu fears by starting work on its own version of the anti-viral drug, Tamiflu, without waiting for the manufacturer's consent.


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