30 false alarms over bird flu in six weeks

14th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA) has investigated 30 suspected cases of bird flu in Belgium since the start of February.

14 March 2006

BRUSSELS — The Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA) has investigated 30 suspected cases of bird flu in Belgium since the start of February.

The tests were carried out on birds seriously suspected to have died from the bird flu virus. All tests have proved negative, the Federal Food Agency (FAVV-AFSCA) said.

The latest test was conducted on a dead swan found in the West Flemish town of Vleteren on Sunday 12 March.

An initial test did not give a definitive result, but a second test almost certainly ruled out an infection of the H5 influenza virus. To obtain 100 percent certainty, a third test will be carried out, news agency Belga reported on Monday.

The research centre CODA-CERVA examines every bird suspected to have died from the bird flu virus. Wild birds are considered suspect if they are found dead at the same place and same time and are part of the same bird group.

Moreover, gulls, sea gulls or starlings are only considered suspicious if 20 are found dead. As swans are more susceptible to the bird flu virus, suspicions are raised with the discovery of just one dead swan. For other birds, such as ducks, the minimum number is five.

For domesticated poultry, a veterinarian must inform food and agricultural authorities when there are signs that indicate a bird flu infection.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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