Bird flu outbreaks across Europe could have serious impacts
Organization: Department of International Cooperation Publish Date: 2016-12-02 16:29
Sources: Deutsche Welle; International Business Times
Countries across Europe are taking precautions to prevent a bird flu epidemic after highly infectious cases of the disease have appeared in multiple areas. Officials in Finland recently found cases of avian influenza in wild birds, while authorities in the Netherlands culled 190,000 ducks after the virus struck. Wild ducks in Northern France have been slaughtered in an effort to contain a highly infectious strain of the flu.
France has the largest poultry stock in the European Union. An outbreak of bird flu in southeastern France earlier this year decimated poultry flocks and stopped much of the country's output last week.
Tens of thousands of new cases of bird flu have also been reported in Germany, as the disease spreads across Europe, to Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Croatia.
Highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza are often fatal for birds, spread more easily and rapidly than low pathogenic strains, and have a higher rate of mortality upon infection. In 2015, a highly pathogenic outbreak swept 21 states in the United States and affected more than 50 million birds, driving the price of eggs up by 80 percent.
Taiwan, a member of the International Organization for Animal Health, is closely monitoring the epidemic situation in EU countries from which it imports poultry.