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Hungary Affirms Bird Flu; Croatia Halts Imports

BUDAPEST (Dow Jones)--Hungarian laboratory tests confirmed Wednesday that the domestic fowl suspected to have died over the weekend because of bird flu carried a highly pathogenic strain of the virus, the Ministry of Agriculture said. 

"The laboratory has detected the highly pathogenic H5 virus, which, based on the tests so far, belongs to the N1 strain," the ministry said in a release. possible outbreak of bird flu in domestic geese in Csongrad county, in southern Hungary, bordering Serbia and Romania. 

Further tests will be carried out in the European Union's U.K. reference laboratory in Weybridge to confirm that the virus isolated in Hungary belongs to the N1 strain, the ministry added. The Hungarian reference laboratory will send the samples to the U.K. Thursday. 

Hungary has officially informed the E.U. authorities of the test results. 

Since the Hungarian government has already embarked on the required preventive measures and culled the suspected birds with bird flu, no more culling or other measures are needed, the ministry added. 

Croatia halted Wednesday the import of Hungarian poultry prior to the confirmation of the virus, Hungarian state news agency MTI said. 

Croatia also found the virus several times in fowl there last year. 

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