Thursday, February 2, 2017
A New, “Highly Aggressive” Bird Flu (H5N5) Has Been Found in Germany.
H5N5, a new, highly pathogenic sub-type of bird flu has been found on several turkey farms in northern Germany, adding to concerns of the spreading of new strains of avian influenza.The Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Germany’s national institute for animal health, discovered H5N5 on Jan. 21 at four different locations, all owned by the same company, in Steinburg, in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. First, a farmer found a number of dead turkeys at a site housing 3,400 birds,then the virus spread to a larger facility housing 15,000 birds, according to the news agency Kieler Nachrichten. The birds were culled in an attempt to stop the virus virus, but on Thursday, the Schleswig-Holstein Agriculture Minister Robert Habeck stated that two more nearby farms with another 15,000 birds had been infected and would also have to be culled. Preventive measures, including closing down the sites, have been put in place to contain the virus, according to Habek. Habek described the new subtype, which has never been found in European poultry, as “highly aggressive,” noting that it killed more than half of the flock of 3,400 birds where it was first discovered within 48 hours with the rest of the turkeys having shown disease symptoms. H5N5 had already been found in wild geese in Germany and in wild birds in the Netherlands, Italy, Montenegro, Italy, Croatia and Israel. This discovery shows how dynamic the bird flu is as the virus is present and is changing,there hasn’t been a known case of H5N5 being contracted by humans.