http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/23/health/main1339197.shtml 2nd Case Of Bird Flu In France (Page 1 of 2) Feb. 23, 2006 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Catching ducks in a park in Toulouse, France, as a precaution following the discovery of bird flu in two dead ducks. France is Europe's largest poultry producer. (AP) Fast Fact A federal health official in India says the government is considering banning retail sales of a generic bird flu drug, fearing the disease could develop resistance if taken by people who are not infected by the H5N1 strain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (CBS/AP) A second case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has been confirmed in a wild duck in France, Agriculture Ministry officials said Thursday. The duck was found dead on Feb. 19 in the Ain region. The discovery followed a first case of bird flu found a week ago in another duck found dead in the same region, in southeastern France. The second duck was found in the village of Bouvent, some 22 miles from the site of the first case, in the village of Joyeux. Special surveillance measures are being put in place around Bouvent, according to the Agriculture Ministry, which plans to check vehicles to ensure that no poultry leaves the region. France is Europe's largest poultry producer. Last week, the government ordered all domestic birds indoors or, in a few regions, vaccinated in a bid to halt bird flu. Violators could face fines of up to euro750 (US$895). With poultry sales down by 25 to 30 percent since the first case was reported last week, both French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin are doing what they can to boost consumer confidence. "I order you [to] remind our compatriots that bird flu doesn't affect poultry farms and that there is no danger in consuming poultry and eggs," said Chirac, in a meeting with government ministers. De Villepin, for his part, appeared on television - eating chicken and cradling a chick in his arms while visited the region of France where the dead ducks were found. In other recent developments: A German government spokeswoman says the virus has been found for the first time in a small flock of domestic birds, in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Since the first case was found last week, more than 100 wild birds in Germany have been confirmed with the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Crews have already been culling poultry in the Ruegen area, and some 300 army troops have been deployed to aid in the cleanup and disinfection effort. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been urging farmers to keep their poultry indoors, to avoid infecting domestic birds. In Slovakia, the TASR news agency reports a white grebe found dead in Bratislava and a peregrine falcon found in Gabcikovo, on the Hungarian border, have both been found to have been infected with the bird flu. Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon says samples have been sent to the EU reference lab in Britain but "the laboratory will likely confirm our results." CBS/AP) Bird flu has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 92 people since 2003, according to the World Health Organization. Although most human cases of the disease have been linked to contact with infected birds, experts fear the virus may mutate into a form easily transmitted between humans. EU health ministers are scheduled to hold talks Friday in Vienna with U.N. experts on the virus. In Malaysia, two toddlers – age 18 months and age 2 - are in the hospital awaiting tests on whether they have bird flu. Four other children and two adults have been sent home, after tests showed they were in the clear. Hundreds of veterinary officials and students meanwhile are preparing to fan out for a six-mile radius surrounding Kuala Lumpur to look for diseased birds. Health officials are also conducting house-to-house searches to check for human infections, but none has been found so far. The Malaysian government said Monday that bird flu was found in 40 chickens that died just outside of Kuala Lumpur. Since then, 1,970 chickens, 62 ducks and 72 other birds have been killed and 505 eggs destroyed in within a .6 mile radius of the villages. In India, tests on people in western India suspected of having bird flu show no sign of the deadly H5N1 infection. Authorities are setting up checkpoints around the town at the center of the country's first bird flu outbreak. A state official says no one will be allowed in or out of Navapur if they appear to be sick. Nine people have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms in Navapur, where the government says bird flu was found in tests of some of the estimated 30,000 chickens that died there in recent weeks. As a result, hundreds of thousands of birds were killed in Navapur as a precaution against the disease spreading, including all chickens within a six-mile radius. "Not one chicken is left," said Bhushan Gagrani, an official in the state of Maharashtra, where the outbreak was located. A federal health official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the government is considering a ban on retail sales of a generic bird flu drug, fearing the disease could develop resistance if taken by people who are not infected by the H5N1 strain. Two Indian pharmaceutical companies - Cipla Ltd. and Hetero Drugs Ltd. - are currently making generic copies of Tamiflu, a patented drug from Swiss drug maker Roche that is believed to be effective in treating symptoms of bird flu in humans. However, other government officials tried hard to reassure people that properly cooked chicken and eggs were safe. Top health officials ate chicken at a news conference in New Delhi, but chicken sales have been dropping across the country, with chicken and eggs being removed from many menus, including on the railways and – reportedly – in Parliament.