October 10, 2008


German state, Saxony detects H5N1 bird flu 


The German state of Saxony said Friday, 10 October 2008 that a bird flu strain had been detected in a duck at a poultry farm near Dresden.


Ralph Schreiber, spokesman for Saxony's social welfare ministry said tests are being carried out to determine if it's the highly contagious version.


The flu strain was detected in the duck during a routine examination at the farm, which held some 1,400 birds. All birds at the farm would be killed as a precaution and access to the farm will be blocked off.


Bird flu was last detected at a farm in Saxony in 2006. Last year, seven wild birds were found with the virus in the eastern state, said Schreiber.


The virus has infected 387 people in 15 countries, killing 245 of them, according to the World Health Organisation.


Although bird flu remains an animal disease, experts fear that the virus might mutate into a form easily passed from human to human.

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