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March 12, 2009

                                    
Germany sees no increased threat from bird flu
                                      


German animal health authority said on Wednesday (Mar 11) it sees no increased threat from bird flu following the discovery of a case in a wild bird.

 

The EU reported on Wednesday (Mar 11) its first case of the lethal strain of the contagious disease this year - found in a wild duck shot on January 10 during a hunt near the town of Starnberg in the south German state of Bavaria.

 

German government national animal diseases agency spokeswoman said this was an individual discovery among wild birds which must be reckoned with occasionally.

 

She said the institute, which advises the government on threat levels, still regarded the overall threat of bird flu level from wild birds as low.

 

She also said the duck was shot as part of an EU monitoring programme of bird flu among wild birds, not as spor.

 

The bird involved had only a small level of the virus and this was found after it was tested by the agency as part of the national screening programme on March 5, 2009. The bird had no outward signs of sickness.

 

The last outbreak in poultry of H5N1 in the EU was detected in October 2008 in the eastern German state of Saxony.

 

The town council of Starnberg said it was not setting up a quarantine zone around the area where the bird was shot as there were no signs of further infection in the last eight weeks.

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