Bird flu detected in Hungary

By admin
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After Great Britain, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Belarus, bird flu has again been detected in Hungary, leading to major concerns about Hungary’s poultry farms.

Although the National Food Safety office (NÉBIH) issued a warning after the new infection was first detected in Great Britain last December, the first new incidence of bird flu was detected at a large chicken farm in Hungary’s northern Komárom-Esztergom county and Sunday night the laboratory tests confirmed it.

In order to prevent the spread of the disease, veterinary authorities ordered the culling of the farm’s more than 53,000 chicken and issued a nationwide ban on free-range chicken rearing.

Authorities are also currently checking every avian farm in a 10-kilometer radius for signs of the disease and to take sample where necessary.

Veterinary authorities say the strain now found is H5N8, similar to the one that had infected Hungary in 2014 and subsequently in late 2016, lasting into the spring of 2017.

During that second period, 2.66 million animals had to be killed, causing direct economic damages of 11 billion forints (€33 million) and additional veterinary costs of 2 billion forints.

Bird feed must also be kept in closed storage where wild aquatic birds, the primary carriers of the disease, can not access it.

These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans.

Title image: Chicken at a farm (source: Magyar Nemzet/Zoltán Havran)

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