Bird-flu scare after eagles smuggled into Belgium

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Thai man who tried to smuggle into Belgium two crested hawk eagles infected with the deadly bird flu virus was undergoing tests yesterday but appeared to be in good health, officials said.

A Thai man who tried to smuggle into Belgium two crested hawk eagles infected with the deadly bird flu virus was undergoing tests yesterday but appeared to be in good health, officials said.

The man had been detained briefly in Brussels on Monday after authorities discovered the birds hidden in his hand luggage, which he had carried on flights from Bangkok via Vienna. The man was released and the birds destroyed but tests showed they were infected.

Health authorities then launched a manhunt, appealing for him to report to police, saying he was at risk of contracting the virus. They said that there was little chance he could have passed the disease to others.

European and Belgian authorities, however, urged passengers on the same flight to contact doctors if they developed flu symptoms in the next seven days. The man flew on Eva Airways flight BR0061 from Bangkok, arriving in Vienna on 18 October, connecting with Austrian Airlines flight OS351 to Brussels.

Thailand is a centre of a bird flu outbreak that has devastated poultry farms in Asia and killed 30 people.

Comments