12th Apr 2021

EU on alert as bird flu hits Romania and Turkey

  • Europe's biggest fear is that the virus mutates into a form transmissable to humans (Photo: EUobserver)

European health authorities were put on alert over the weekend following reports that bird-flu has broken out in Romania and Turkey - with the potential risk of infection for humans.

In Romania over the weekend, the mass-slaughter of poultry was carried out after the discovery of three flu-infected birds in the village of Smardan. 3400 persons in the affected area were given anti-flu vaccine in an attempt to stop the virus spreading from birds to humans.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Up to 125,000 people will be vaccinated over the coming days.

Meanwhile Turkey has also confirmed its first cases of bird flu with agriculture minister Mehdi Eker announcing the incidences on Saturday (8 October).

Germany and France urged Romania and Turkey on Sunday to make public all information about the outburst of the air-born influenza, or bird-flu, to EU experts.

The German authorities said thay were preparing emergency measures to stop bird-flu from entering Germany, and the French National Food Security Agency has been put on the highest alert.

Europe fears that the bird virus will mutate into a form tranmissable to humans, and create a genuine pandemic in Europe.

So far, the virus has claimed 65 lives- and those of millions of birds- in Asia since 2003, and has been found in birds in Russia and Kazakhstan. Up until now, no cases of bird flu had been confirmed in Europe.

Experts are however still trying to establish whether the virus that killed the birds in Romania is the deadly H5N1 strain, or a less virulent type. The Romanian authorities announced on Sunday that initial tests for H5N1 were negative, and that further tests would be carried out during the following days.


Four deaths after taking Russian Sputnik V vaccine

Four people recently died after taking Russia's Sputnik V anti-corona jab in previously unreported cases, which are being taken "seriously" by the EU regulator, the European Medicines Agency.


After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?

Beatings, forced sterilisation, police violence and fire bombings by right-wing extremists against Romani communities are still a reality in Europe. The corona pandemic only worsened this situation.

News in Brief

  1. Turkey blames EU for sexist protocol fiasco
  2. France to close elite civil-service academy
  3. Covid-19 cases in UK drop 60%, study finds
  4. White House urges 'calm' after Northern Ireland riots
  5. Italy's Draghi calls Turkey's Erdoğan a 'dictator'
  6. Slovakia told to return Sputnik V amid quality row
  7. EU risks €87bn in stranded fossil fuel assets
  8. Obligatory vaccination not against human rights, European court says


Why Germans understand the EU best

In Germany, there is commotion about a new book in which two journalists describe meetings held during the corona crisis between federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and the 16 prime ministers of its federal constituent states.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. The Covid bell tolls for eastern Europe's populists
  2. Four deaths after taking Russian Sputnik V vaccine
  3. Post-Brexit riots flare up in Northern Ireland
  4. Advice on AstraZeneca varies across EU, amid blood clot fears
  5. Greenland election could see halt to rare-earth mining
  6. After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?
  7. Why Iran desperately wants a new nuclear deal
  8. Does new EU-ACP deal really 'decolonise' aid?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us