SOFIA, BULGARIA — Officials announced on April 1 a dead bird found near Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Varna has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 virus, according to The Associated Press. Tests on a common buzzard were conducted at the national veterinary, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Although no other cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza were detected in Bulgaria, farmers were alerted to the risks of transmission by migratory and wild birds. A bird flu outbreak was found two weeks ago at a backyard poultry farm in a village in neighboring Romania, and all of those birds were culled. The European Commission called it the first detection of bird flu in the European Union in one year, following a confirmed case in March 2009 involving a wild duck in Germany.
Bird flu has killed 291 people throughout the world since it began ravaging poultry stocks in 2003, with Indonesia being the worst hit country to date, said Gregory Hartl, a World Health Organization spokesman in Geneva.