Bird flu found in Swedish mink

A case of bird flu in its H5 form has been detected in a mink in southeast Sweden, officials said on Monday, adding that the animal would be tested for the dangerous H5N1 strain of the virus.

“The mink, which had been killed, was found in a port,” said Ulla Carlsson, an epidemic specialist at the National Veterinary Institute.

Tests for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus would be carried out either in Sweden or both in Sweden and at a specialist European Union laboratory in Weybridge, Britain, Carlsson said.

Seven cases of H5N1, either confirmed or suspected, have so far been registered in Sweden, but only in wild birds.

Two cases of H5N1 have already been confirmed by the EU laboratory in wild birds found in southeast Sweden and two of five wild birds found dead carrying the H5 virus in Stockholm are currently being analysed.

Bird flu has already hit 45 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa and the deadly form of the virus, H5N1, has killed around 100 people through contact with infected poultry.