GLOBAL - Multiple cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza strain H5N8 have been found across Europe in recent days, and a new report suggests that wild birds migrating from Europe to Africa have spread the virus to Israeli poultry.
A breeder farm in the Hazafon region of Israel was affected by the latest outbreak, causing death in 1500 birds. The farm was divided into four pens but only one, containing 5200 birds, was infected with the virus.
It was not clear from the country's report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) whether all the flocks from all the pens would be depopulated, but control measures to be applied include surveillance, disinfection, quarantines and movement controls.
"The migration is ongoing and this virus strain probably arrived from Europe with migrating birds," the report said to the OIE said. "The farm is located in an aquaculture area with multiple fish ponds, attracting migrating birds."
In Hungary, which first reported the disease on a turkey farm last week, three duck farms and one farm with both geese and ducks have been confirmed as affected by the disease.
Two thousand birds died and over 60,000 more were destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading further. Hungary's report to the OIE named contact with wild species as the source of the outbreak.
Further wild birds infected with H5N8 have been found in Denmark. These included a single dead tufted duck found in a moat in central Copenhagen and ten dead tufted ducks found in a wetland area near the town of Stege.
Similar to instructions from the authorities in the Netherlands and Germany, commercial and backyard poultry keepers and zoos must now keep birds indoors as far as possible and follow increased biosecurity measures. All shows and other gatherings of birds and poultry in Denmark are prohibited with immediate notice.
You can visit the avian flu page by clicking here.