Half-a-million birds killed in Germany since latest bird flu outbreak

DW – February 13, 2017

Some 391,000 poultry determined to have been exposed to bird flu have been killed and another 154,000 culled as a precaution since the latest outbreak of the highly contagious virus hit Germany last November, according to government numbers obtained by the “Rheinische Post.”

Nearly 40 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa have reported outbreaks of various strains of avian flu in poultry or wild birds since November, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  Fifteen countries in Europe have been hit by the highly pathogenic avian virus, including France, Hungary and Belgium.

In Europe, millions of poultry have been culled and preventative confinement measures implemented in an effort to stop the virus from spreading. The mass culling has taken a toll on farmers and increased the price of poultry-based foods in some countries.

There are usually two or three bird flu strains recorded at one time, but now there are at least a half a dozen strains active in the past months. They include H5N1, H5N2, H5N8 and H7N8.