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Rapid geographical spread of the virus (as of 21 February 2006)
The occurrence of the disease in India, reported on 18 February 2006, is part of a recent pattern of rapid geographical spread of the virus in wild and domestic birds. India is one of 13 countries that have reported their first cases of H5N1 infection in birds since the beginning of February. (The 13 countries, listed in order of reporting, are Iraq, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Austria, Germany, Egypt, India and France.)
On 20 February 2006, Malaysia reported a fresh outbreak in poultry after having been considered free of the disease for more than a year.
The situation in these recently affected countries varies greatly. Most European …