January 21, 2020


H5N8 bird flu virus hits Germany and Ukraine


The virus was confirmed in a wild bird in Brandenburg, Germany and in west-central Ukraine, with the virus last reported in Ukraine three years ago, reported Reuters.


The German Federal Agriculture Ministry said the H5N8 bird flu virus was confirmed in a wild goose in Brandenburg, Germany, close to the border to Poland. However, no birds raised on farms were affected.


Authorities in Brandenburg have increased wild bird monitoring, focusing on birds that live near water. The ministry has called on domestic poultry farmers to step up bio-security measures to protect their flocks from the virus


Meanwhile, the World Organisation for Animal Health cited a report by Ukraine's veterinary services of a H5N8 outbreak in west-central Ukraine. No further detail was provided other than the virus was of serotype H5.


The last Ukrainian H5N8 bird flu outbreak killed 4,856 birds among a 98,000 flock in Vinnitsa. All remaining birds were culled.


The H5N8 bird flu virus has been spreading across eastern Europe, carried by migratory wild birds. Outbreaks have been reported in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.


-      Reuters