Hundreds of thousands of ducks have been killed at farms in Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark as a part of a measure to prevent a bird flu outbreak. It appears like recent bird flu has been responsible for the death of more than a thousand wild birds in the Netherlands.

According to tests made to the dead ducks, the cause of the measure seems to be a variant of the H5N8 virus, which is really infectious for poultry. Luckily, it is not really dangerous to humans, but in order to prevent the disease to spread, the authorities have announced that around 190,000 ducks have been killed in diverse farms of central Netherlands.

Crates of ducks being moved to be culled at a duck farm in Nafferton, northern England Nov 18, 2014. Bird flu was found on a duck farm in England after it was discovered in Dutch chickens. Photo: Reuters

The avian flu re-emerges  

The avian flu or avian influenza is an illness caused by any of many different viruses that adapt to birds. It technically affects only to birds but depending on the type of flu it can also adapt to pigs and humans.

This time it seems that the virus is the H5N8 variant, which kills 30% of infected birds making it really hard for farmers to maintain their business.

According to the Economy ministry of Netherlands, 190,000 ducks had to be killed after inspectors confirmed that the birds of several farms died in fact due to avian flu.

Most of the birds that were put down were at a farm in Biddinghuizen, some 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Amsterdam, according to the Dutch food and safety watchdog. This area is where the virus was found. As well, three other farms within a 3-kilometer radius are being monitored, as well the authorities have imposed a temporary ban to prevent poultry from being transported within 10 kilometers.

Early this month, Dutch authorities found about 1250 wild birds dead in the Lake Markermeer surroundings near Amsterdam. They decided to close down petting zoos. As well, they banned the duck hunting given the flu outbreak.

In 2003, after avian flu alerts the authorities has to kill around 30 million birds to contain the illness.

The virus is affecting several countries

Apparently, other countries such as Germany has been affected too. Sweden also said that around 200,000 birds were killed at a farm where the influenza was detected by the authorities. They found the H5N8 in Aniagra Farm, southwest Sweden, on Thursday.

“All of the farm’s 200,000 hens will be put down to prevent the expansion of the virus,” Sweden’s agriculture department said in a statement. 37,000 of the birds had already been put down.

Aniagra Chief Anders Lindberg said that what is important is not letting the virus spread further.

And it all came after the discovery was made in Denmark, where the flu was detected at a farm near Copenhagen. Up until now, according to the World Health Organization the virus has been found in 10 European Countries: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, and Russia.

As well, according to several reports India seems to have bird flu cases already.

Source: I24 News