New outbreak of bird flu reported in Germany

15th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 December 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A rural area north of Berlin has been placed under quarantine after a new outbreak of bird flu led to the deaths of 11 chickens, authorities said Saturday. Five of the birds died suddenly this week and the rest were put down after tests on Friday showed they were infected with the H5N1 virus that can also harm humans. Following the positive tests, officials sealed off an area covering a radius of three kilometres in the Oberhavel region of Brandenburg, the state which surro

15 December 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A rural area north of Berlin has been placed under quarantine after a new outbreak of bird flu led to the deaths of 11 chickens, authorities said Saturday.

Five of the birds died suddenly this week and the rest were put down after tests on Friday showed they were infected with the H5N1 virus that can also harm humans.

Following the positive tests, officials sealed off an area covering a radius of three kilometres in the Oberhavel region of Brandenburg, the state which surrounds the German capital.

A team of veterinarians was sent to the area to check on other flocks of poultry and determine what spread the virus.

Farmers and pet owners were told to keep their animals indoors until the danger had passed. It was the first outbreak of bird flu in the region after a series of false-alarms in the past.

There have been several cases of bird flu in Germany since the H5N1 virus resurfaced in the southern city of Nuremberg in June.

Although bird flu remains mainly an animal disease, experts fear the virus could mutate and spread among humans, becoming a pandemic that could kill millions of people.

More than 200 people have died of bird flu since 2003, according to figures released by the World Health Organization.

The most-common way to contract the H5N1 virus is through contact with infected fowl.

DPA

Subject: German news

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