H5N1 found in wild birds in Germany

Jun 25, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Six wild birds in Germany have tested positive for the lethal strain of H5N1 avian influenza in the virus's first appearance in the country since last August, according to news services.

The Friedrich Loeffler Institute, a veterinary institute, said five swans and one goose found dead in Nuremberg in the southern state of Bavaria were infected, according to a Reuters report published today. The cases were found in the course of a national testing program for dead birds.

Authorities ordered farmers in the Nuremberg region to confine their poultry and banned the transport of poultry into and out of the area, Reuters reported.

An Agence France-Presse (AFP) report said the restrictions apply to an area within a 2.5-mile radius of where the infected birds were found. Officials also warned people not to let cats and dogs roam freely in the area, according to Reuters.

The last H5N1 case reported in Germany involved a swan in the Dresden zoo last August, according to AFP.

Earlier last year, the virus killed some wild birds on the German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea. The virus eventually was found in wild birds in six of the country 16 states, AFP reported.

The new report from Germany came less than a week after the virus was confirmed on a turkey farm in the Czech Republic, leading to the killing of 6,000 turkeys. The only other confirmed outbreaks in Europe this year occurred on a British turkey farm in February and on a Hungarian goose farm in January.

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