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Germany Confirms Case of Avian Flu

German authorities have confirmed outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu type at a farm on an island off the German North Sea coast, the Schleswig-Holstein state agriculture ministry said.

The virus was found on a farm of with 57 chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese on the island of Hallig Suederoog. All the birds on the farm have been culled.

It is said to be the first case on a farm in Germany, the ministry said.

A case of H5N6 bird flu was also reported by a farm in the Netherlands in February and in southern England in January.

The Schleswig-Holstein state agriculture ministry said there is no record of the strain of the disease spreading to humans.

Some past outbreaks of bird flu have required expensive slaughtering campaigns and costly orders to farmers to keep poultry indoor – NAN.

About the Flu

Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans and other animals.

H5N1 is the most common form of bird flu. It is deadly to birds and can easily affect humans and other animals that come in contact with a carrier. According to the World Health Organization, H5N1 was first discovered in humans in 1997 and has killed nearly 60 percent of those infected.

Currently, the virus isn’t known to spread via human-to-human contact. Still, some experts worry that H5N1 may pose a risk of becoming a pandemic threat to humans.

Common Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Malaise
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Although no known vaccines, antiviral therapies can be prescribed by your doctor should you develop symptoms.

 

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