Avian influenza detected in poultry farm near Sydney

Outbreak potentially caused by wild birds
calendar icon 20 June 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected at a commercial poultry egg farm near Sydney, Reuters reported, citing Australian authorities on Wednesday, triggering emergency quarantine measures.

The H7N8 flu strain found is different from the H7N3 and H7N9 strains detected in neighbouring Victoria state, and the H5N1 strain, which has infected billions of wild and farmed animals globally and raised fears of human transmission.

"It is understood at this point to be a separate spill-over event, potentially from wild birds," New South Wales state Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty said in a statement.

The farm in the Hawkesbury region in Sydney's west has been shut down and biosecurity control measures will be extended to up to 2 km (1.24 miles) around the farm site, Moriarty said.

The detection of the avian influenza does not pose a risk to consumer health, and poultry products are safe to consume if they are cooked as per standard food handling practices, she said.

Australia has experienced nine outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza since 1976, which were all contained and eradicated, the government said.

Three of those outbreaks were in New South Wales, the most recent being in 2013.

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