Bird flu outbreaks in Switzerland, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia

Chickens on grass, one looks into camera
Chickens, photo: Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Switzerland has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus at an animal sanctuary, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday.

The animal sanctuary provides shelter for chickens, wild ducks, breeding ducks, pigeons and other birds. The virus killed 22 of the 30 birds at the sanctuary in the northern district of Huentwangen, the OIE said. Authorities killed the eight remaining animals.

In Hungary, 14,270 ducks were killed at a farm after 230 animals died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the OIE reported.

Austria found a case of bird flu on a small chicken farm near Vienna airport. Like Belgium and the Netherlands, the country is ordering farms with more than 350 birds to keep them indoors, Austria’s public health agency AGES said on Thursday.

“The affected farm’s chickens died or were slaughtered under the authorities’ supervision. The farm was closed,” AGES said in a statement, adding that the case was confirmed on Wednesday.

Slovakia reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus among backyard birds in Dunajska Streda.

Bird flu is quickly spreading in Europe and Asia. When bird flu is detected, the only solution governments have, is to kill all animals around the infected bird; this means healthy farm and wild birds are also killed.

More than 43 million birds, sick and healthy, have been killed this year due to bird flu outbreaks.

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