Final tests confirmed the presence of the bird flu virus in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Sunday evening. A first-degree quarantine was decided for an area of Bucharest District 2 where the virus has been identified, until the culling of all poultry there is concluded. The authorities say people in the area will be isolated for at least a week.

The quarantine area includes 21 streets.

Another quarantine area, where bird flu suspicions also arose last weekend, might include 20 streets in south Bucharest.

Agriculture minister Gheorghe Flutur announced Sunday afternoon that 25 bird flu hotbeds have been identified across the country so far – in the counties of Brasov, bacau, Buzau, Vrancea, Covasna and Sibiu.

He said there was no explanation yet for the causes of the new outbreak of the flu, but that authorities were considering a ban on poultry possession in cities of over 100,000 dwellers, especially in the 2-million strong Bucharest.

His statements came as all the tests on the four people hospitalized with bird flu symptoms in a Bucharest hospital proved negative this weekend.