Bird flu found at German commercial poultry farm

5th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 April 2006, BERLIN - Authorities made plans Wednesday to slaughter 16,000 turkeys, geese and chickens after the first case of bird flu at a commercial poultry farm in Germany.

5 April 2006

BERLIN - Authorities made plans Wednesday to slaughter 16,000 turkeys, geese and chickens after the first case of bird flu at a commercial poultry farm in Germany.

Scientists at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute of animal health confirmed the H5NI strain of the avian flu virus was found in the eastern German state of Saxony.

"It is a serious situation," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a press conference. She expressed concern that the outbreak occurred in Saxony where no previous bird flu cases had been reported.

Authorities said 8,000 turkeys, 5,000 geese and 3,000 chickens would be culled as a precaution and an exclusion zone imposed over a radius of 3 kilometres around the site of the infection.

It was the first case of bird flu at a commercial poultry farm in Germany, where hundreds of wild birds and three domestic cats have died since the disease struck in February.

The disease first surfaced on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen and spread south over many parts of the country.

Scientists were carrying out tests to determine whether the H5N1 strain found in Saxony was the highly pathogenic Asian variety which has killed more than 20 people this year, most of them in Asia.

Although it is not know to transmit between humans, researchers admit H5N1 may mutate into such a form, sparking a human pandemic.

DPA

Subject: German news

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