Avian influenza has occurred in several wild birds in northern Germany. As announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, the disease was detected in a wild duck in Hamburg, a common vulture in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and several wild birds in Schleswig-Holstein.
The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) confirmed this on Friday. “So far it has only been a matter of individual cases,” emphasized the ministry.
The Kiel Ministry of Agriculture and the Hamburg consumer protection authority had already reported on the cases in Hamburg and North Frisia on Friday. Now, poultry farmers in the North Frisian district have to move their stock to the stalls.
Poultry farmers are called on to take precautionary measures and control their stocks, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture warned. The local authorities decided on specific measures. With the outbreak of avian influenza in wild birds, there are no restrictions on trade. H5N8 and H5N5 virus types have been detected. So far, no transmission of these types to humans is known, but dead birds should not be touched. “In principle, the general hygiene and protection measures in the handling of poultry and wild birds must be strictly observed,” the ministry announced.
In Hamburg, breeders near the place where an infected wild duck was found were informed. Monitoring for the detection of avian influenza in Hamburg has been intensified. No further protection measures are currently necessary, he said. Police found the infected duck on Thursday. The animal left an impression of injury and was put to sleep. The Friedrich Loeffler Institute has confirmed that it is the H5N8 avian influenza virus.
Avian flu is an infectious disease that mainly affects waterfowl and other birds. It can occur in poultry with severe general symptoms and, according to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, it can also be transmitted to humans. According to the Hamburg consumer protection authority, these cases have not yet been detected anywhere in the world.
A few days ago, avian influenza was detected in mute swans in the Netherlands. The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut announced in early October that with the autumn migration of birds, a high risk of introduction of highly contagious bird flu viruses into Germany was to be expected. The experts called for greater vigilance towards wild birds that are sick or dead.
“FLI disease experts had warned us that bird flu was on the rise. Now the time has come and we have the first find. This is cause for concern, but not for panic, ”said Agriculture Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Till Backhaus (SPD). According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, in the summer bird flu had stalled with the latest outbreaks in Bulgaria and Hungary in Europe.
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