UNCLAS VILNIUS 000121
STATE FOR EUR/NB, EUR/PGI, AND OES/IHA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO SOCI PGOV LH
SUBJECT: FALSE ALARM: NO BIRD FLU IN LITHUANIA
Â¶1. Reports of a possible case of avian influenza in
Lithuania's port city of Klaipeda have proved false. The
Ministry of Health initially feared that the disease may
have caused the death of an Indian sailor, who died on
February 6 while his ship was docked in the Lithuanian port
of Klaipeda. Egle Burbiene, Deputy Director of the
National Center for Health Emergencies told us on February
7, however, that the preliminary diagnosis of the emergency
medical response team was incorrect: the deceased Indian
citizen died of natural causes other than avian influenza.
The Ministry of Health has publicly retracted the initial
diagnosis and may perform an autopsy to confirm the cause
of the sailor's death.
Â¶2. There have been no cases of avian influenza, either in
fowl or humans, to date in Lithuania.