Avian flu in Lower Saxony

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Bird flu virus detected in a poultry farm in Aurich


The avian influenza virus of the avian influenza A virus of the subtype H7N7 was detected in a poultry farm in Aurich, Lower Saxony, reports the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture in Hanover. The approximately 190 animals on the farm have already been killed and there is no danger to humans, the ministry continues.

The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Federal Research Center for Animal Health) has proven the low pathogenic avian influenza pathogen of the strain H7N7 in the laying hen stock in Aurich. The animals on the farm in the Sandhorst district have already been killed and the authorities have set up a 1,000 meter restricted area around the farm. According to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture, the pathogens were apparently imported from North Rhine-Westphalia with poultry bought. Outbreaks of bird flu of the same subtype have been recorded here in the Gütersloh district in recent months. As a result, up to 70,000 birds such as geese, chickens and ducks had to be culled. Now the pathogens have apparently also reached Lower Saxony via the trade routes.

Restricted area set up for bird flu detection According to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture, the poultry farm in Aurich purchased animals from one of the affected farms in North Rhine-Westphalia, which carried the pathogens into the farm. There are no signs of further spread by the poultry farm, as the farm does not sell poultry, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture said. The inventory had already been "cleared" and a corresponding restricted area had been set up, the ministry said in a message on Friday. The affected farm and all poultry farms within a radius of 1,000 meters are therefore blocked for the time being. A total of four other farms are not allowed to deliver poultry from their farm, a fifth poultry farm is under surveillance, said a spokesman for the Aurich district. The blocking of the poultry farms will only be lifted again, if 21 days after cleaning and disinfection of the outbreak farm no more pathogens can be detected, the spokesman for the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture emphasized. According to the Ministry, all farmers in the region have been informed of the occurrence of bird flu.

Low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses pose no danger to humans The low-pathogenic ("less disease-causing") pathogen of the H7N7 subtype is not a threat anyway, according to the official announcement. The health consequences of H7N7 infection in poultry are also relatively small, but there is a risk that these viruses will mutate into the highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus subtype H 7, the cause of avian influenza. Therefore, for security reasons, all stocks that come into contact with the virus are killed immediately, said the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture. Most recently, the avian influenza virus, which is harmless to humans, occurred in Lower Saxony in 2009, the ministry continues. The current find is directly related to the bird flu evidence in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the pathogens have been discovered on several farms since the end of May. As a result of the commercial activity, the viruses were then introduced into various poultry stocks across Germany, the ministry spokesman said. These contact holdings were examined immediately after they became known, whereby further infections with the bird flu pathogen were found in individual companies in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Saxony. The poultry farm in the Aurich district has now suffered the same fate. (fp)

Also read about bird flu:
Saxon poultry yard closed due to bird flu
Dangerous bird flu virus or harmless?
Genetically engineered chickens are immune to avian flu
Bird flu in the district of Gütersloh again

Photo credit: schemmi / pixelio.de

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