Swedish bird flu confirmed as H5N1

An EU laboratory in Britain has confirmed the first two cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in two wild ducks found in Sweden last month, the Swedish Board of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

“The laboratory in Weybridge has now confirmed that it is an H5N1 virus, just as we thought,” said Berndt Klingeborn in the virology department at the National Veterinary Institute.

Swedish researchers had already identified the highly pathogenic H5 virus in the ducks, which were found near the nuclear power station in Oskarshamn.

In total, 29 cases of the H5 subtype of bird flu have been discovered in Sweden, of which 15 have been proven to be a highly pathogenic form of the virus. So far only the two tufted ducks have been confirmed as carriers of the H5N1 strain.

In its most aggressive form the H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed 100 people worldwide.

The Local