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Alerts about bird flu in Europe

Alerts about bird flu in Europe

After the bird flu virus was detected in wild and domestic birds in the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and Denmark, the Swedish Board of Agriculture raised the level of protection for all flocks of birds. This means animals have to be kept indoors. When it comes to the so-called private hobby flocks, it is enough for the birds to remain enclosed in a fence, but they are not allowed to roam freely.

Do not infect humans

At this particular time in the fall, the risk of the virus spreading is greatest, as many seabirds are on the move. The most recent virus that has been found is common to cause high mortality in both domestic and wild birds, but it has not affected humans.

The virus causes a high mortality rate in birds. If an outbreak does occur, it has dire consequences, and in addition to many birds falling ill and dying, it could lead to restrictions on trade, among other things, says Lotta Hofferberg, head of the infection control unit at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Wild birds are likely to be infected

The last time Sweden was affected by a major outbreak of bird flu was in the winter of 2016-2017, according to the Swedish Veterinary Institute SVA.

There was a major outbreak in Europe when Sweden was also affected. Since then, we’ve seen isolated cases mainly in wild birds, says Malin Grant, an epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control at SVA.

Now that the virus has been detected nearby as in Denmark and Germany, there is a high possibility of wild birds carrying the infection, says Malin Grant:

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If you find dead birds in the wild, we want them to be screened, says SVA’s Malin Grant.

SVA and the Swedish Board of Agriculture are following the development and increasing the level of protection is in place until further notice.