Jan 24, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Hungary today announced an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak at a goose farm, signaling the first appearance of the disease in Europe this winter.
A European Union (EU) statement said Hungarian authorities notified the EU of an H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Csongrad County in southeastern Hungary, Reuters reported today. The EU said veterinarians tested some geese after several deaths were reported in a 3,000-bird flock; the remaining geese were culled.
Hungarian veterinary officials told Bloomberg News today they will send samples tomorrow to an EU lab in the United Kingdom to confirm the results.
Appearing on public television today, chief veterinarian Miklos Suth said a surveillance zone was set up around the farm, which is in an isolated location, making spread of the disease unlikely, Bloomberg reported.
Hungary's first H5N1 outbreaks involved a handful of mute swans in Bács-Kiskun County in the south-central region in April 2006, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The following June, the disease was detected on several goose farms in the same county.
Twenty-six nations in Europe reported their first H5N1 outbreaks in wild birds or poultry in late 2005 and early 2006, according to Bloomberg. The last previous outbreak in Europe occurred in Germany last August, according to information published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
OIE animal health database
Nov 22, 2006, FAO avian flu bulletin with chart of H5N1 outbreaks by country