Another yard declared a restricted area due to bird flu in northern Hesse
Another case of bird flu has been registered in northern Hesse. After four years of no avian influenza in Germany, the second poultry farm with an H5N2 virus infection was reported in northern Hesse within a few weeks.
Exclusion zone set up for bird flu For the second time, the authorities have been informed of an outbreak of bird flu in a farm in northern Hesse. "60 ducks and chickens have already been killed," said Reinhard Kubat, district administrator of the Waldeck-Frankenberg district in northern Hesse. In addition, "a restricted area of one kilometer was arranged," reported Kubat.
At the beginning of December, the H5N2 bird flu virus appeared for the first time in four years in geese from a free-range poultry farm in Hofgeismar in the Kassel district. At the time, the vice district administrator of the Kassel district, Susanne Selbert, announced that "around 40 of the 90 existing animals had to be killed. In addition, a surveillance zone of one kilometer had been set up, which affected 39 other poultry farmers with a total of 783 animals," said the vice district councilor. In the meantime, the district gave the all-clear, after no virus was found in around 850 examined animals in the area. To be sure, the animals should be examined again in mid-January, said a spokesman.
No risk for humans from bird flu In the current case, samples were taken that would have resulted in a low-pathogenic (less disease-causing) type of bird flu for the company concerned in the Waldeck-Frankenberg district, reported Kubat. He hoped to be able to lift the restricted zone in just a few weeks. "The bird flu virus poses no danger to people". The district administrator referred to the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), the federal research institute for animal health.
Avian flu can only be transmitted to humans through close contact with infected poultry. Avian influenza is an infection with the influenza A virus that primarily affects birds. Avian flu occurs in different subtypes, some of which are also transferable to humans. According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, a case was last registered in Saxony before four. Low pathogenic avian flu viruses can develop into highly pathogenic (more disease-causing) under certain circumstances.
Avian flu is one of the notifiable animal diseases in Germany. Affected animals must be killed in accordance with the avian influenza regulation derived from the animal disease law. In the case of low-pathological viruses, a protection zone of one kilometer must also be set up, and in the case of highly pathogenic cases three kilometers, around the site. Poultry transports are prohibited within this area and the animals must be kept in covered cages and enclosures.
Humans only become infected with the virus when there is very close contact with the animal's faeces or blood. This case occurs very rarely in Europe. When people become infected with subspecies of the avian flu virus, the subtypes exchange proteins on their surface for proteins from the human flu virus, so that transmission is possible.
A human-to-human infection occurred only once worldwide. As far as is known, the consumption of poultry products has not led to any infection. In Germany and the EU, laws or an import ban on poultry products from countries where avian influenza is rampant prevent food from infected animals from being sold. (sb)
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