Three more bird flu cases reported in Germany

2nd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 March 2006, BERLIN - Three more cases of bird flu were registered in Germany on Thursday, bringing to 136 the number of animals infected with the feared H5N1 strain of the virus.

2 March 2006

BERLIN - Three more cases of bird flu were registered in Germany on Thursday, bringing to 136 the number of animals infected with the feared H5N1 strain of the virus.

Authorities announced new measures to combat the spread of the disease, following the new cases reported in wild birds in the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenberg-West Pomerania.

The agriculture ministry said access to poultry farms would be restricted to veterinarians and people directly involved in the operation of such sites.

The government has already imposed restrictions on access in a three-kilometre radius of all areas where wild birds infected with the virus have been found.

The H5NI virus was first detected in mid-February in wild swans on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen in Mecklenberg-West Pomerania. It has since spread to two other states in the north and two in the south, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

On Wednesday the government ordered that cats be kept indoors and dogs on leashes in bird flu-hit areas, after a dead cat on Ruegen was found to have the H5N1 strain.

Germany's leading centre for disease control in animals said Thursday that the cat carried the highly pathogenic form of H5N1, which can kill humans.

The cat was the first mammal in Europe in which the lethal strain had been positively identified.

Experts believe the animal might have died after eating an infected bird, following similar cases in Asia, where more than 90 humans have died of the disease since it first surfaced in mid-2003.

The spread of the disease in Germany has been blamed on migratory birds resting on their way from Asia.

DPA

Subject: German news

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