Bird flu: Friedrich Loeffler Institute sets alarm to ‘high’

06-07-2007 | |

New finding of H5N1 bird flu virus in Germany clearly increase the risk for bringing it into commercial poultry farms.

More findings of infected game birds in now four German states have forced the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) to change the risk of a bringing in avian influenza H5N1virus  into commercial poultry to “high”.
Infections of game birds with bird flu virus of the type H5N1 were also announced from the Czech Republic and France.
“The exact geographical propagation of the virus cannot be established yet,” said Professor Thomas Mettenleiter, president of the FLI.
The scientists of the institute take local infection with game birds at the artificial lake Kelbra at the border between Thuringia to Saxony-Anhalt as a starting point.
On the Saxony-Anhalt side, over 100 dead game birds were found; the national investigation laboratory found the H5N1 in 39 game birds. Of these birds 13 samples went to the reference laboratory for avian influenza at FLI, which confirmed Wednesday evening an infection with high pathogenic H5N1 type Asia.
The large number of infected (dead) birds suggests a high infection pressure in the local game bird population.
Although momentarily no classical migratory bird activities take place, the virus can be spread quite fast on shorter distances by the game birds.
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