Bird Flu Spreads From Europe to Asia

Several outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in recent days, indicating that the virus is spreading rapidly once more.

Following earlier outbreaks that resulted in the slaughter of tens of millions of birds, the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, colloquially known as bird flu, has put the poultry sector on high alert. 

China has documented 21 human illnesses so far with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza, more than in the entire year of 2020.

After finding a case of bird flu in a wild duck, Belgium ordered its poultry to be quarantined beginning Monday, expanding avian quarantine procedures already in place in neighboring nations.

Authorities worldwide are aiming to keep farm birds from coming into touch with wild migrating birds to keep the H5N1 virus from spreading.

The infected wild duck was discovered in Schilde, a municipality on the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest metropolitan agglomeration.

Neighboring France and the Netherlands have implemented similar poultry lockdowns in the last three weeks as well.

According to Belgian regulations, poultry producers and hobbyists must keep their birds locked up and guarantee that they do not drink from water available to wild birds.

According to the OIE, Norway reported an H5N1 bird flu epidemic in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds.

In the United Kingdom, a protective zone has been established around a location in North Yorkshire after birds there were found to be infected with the H5N1 virus.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Saturday that avian flu was discovered at a site near Leeming Bar in Hambleton.

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