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Swans Checked in France for Deadly Bird Flu Virus

Three swans found dead in northeast France are being analysed to see if they carried the H5N1 strain of bird flu which can be fatal to humans, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

'First analyses have established a suspicion of bird flu. More tests are under way to see ... if this is an infection with the H5N1 strain,' the ministry said.

Results will be known Thursday, and in the meantime measures have been taken to seal off the lake in the Moselle department where the birds were found.

France's only outbreak of H5N1 was early last year.

On June 24 France stepped up surveillance after several cases of the H5N1 virus were discovered in Germany and the Czech Republic.

In accordance with EU norms, a one kilometre (0.6 mile) exclusion zone has been established around the Assenoncourt lake, as well as a wider 15 kilometre 'observation' zone.


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