Avian influenza in Belgium

BELGIUM - A report (via OIE) on the avian influenza outbreak in Belgium - Additional information.
calendar icon 1 August 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
See also: 28 March 2003, 21 March 2003,

Information received on 29 July 2003 from Dr Luc Lengelé, Chief Veterinary Officer, Animal Health and Animal Products Department, Federal State Service for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Brussels:

Report date: 28 July 2003.

In Disease Information, 16 [12], 73, and 16 [13], 80, dated 21 and 28 March 2003, respectively, information can be found on a suspected outbreak of avian influenza in Belgium.

In Disease Information, 16 [16], 98, dated 18 April 2003, and up to and including 16 [29], 169, dated 18 July 2003, information is provided on an epizootic of (highly pathogenic) avian influenza in Belgium.

The report published on 18 July 2003 makes it clear that avian influenza has been eradicated in Belgium and states that “all restriction measures in Limburg province were lifted at noon on 8 July 2003 and in Antwerp province at noon on 15 July”.

However, in the report dated 24 March 2003 published on 28 March 2003 the last sentence states that “in the light of these favourable results, the restriction measures applied in the buffer zone will be lifted” and, as no date was given for the lifting of the measures, the message could be misinterpreted as implying that these restrictions are still be in place today. In fact, the restriction measures relating to the suspected outbreak of 11 March 2003 were lifted on 24 March 2003, the day the official results of the virus isolation tests on embryonated eggs were received from the National Reference Laboratory (Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre - VAR), at Ukkel.

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