Europe is struggling with the worst outbreak of bird flu ever

German study: Europe is battling the worst outbreak of bird flu ever

Researchers at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) report that the problems are widespread and that there is no “end in sight” at the moment.

There is also a lot of bird flu in the Netherlands. Dutch expert Thijs Kuiken explained that the virus that is now circulating tends to multiply in the brain. Previously released to RTL Nieuws.

“Looks good”

“What you see in birds is that they start turning their necks, walking in circles or swimming in circles. They can no longer fly. “Below is an example.” It looks really good. “

Every day, new cases of bird flu are reported, the researchers said, affecting animals “from Finland to the Faroe Islands and from Ireland and Russia to Portugal”.

And there are hundreds of injuries in Germany among wild birds, especially ducks, geese, swans and gulls. Bird flu has also been reported in 46 German poultry farms.

Hundreds of dead boats

In the Netherlands, several poultry farms have been killed in recent months to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, hundreds of dead knots and other wild birds were found in the Netherlands along the Schiermonnikoog coast and in eastern Groningen. These birds were also infected with bird flu.

be vigilant

Thijs Kuiken, professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus University, is interested in this. Firstly, because this so-called highly pathogenic has become a sentry. When highly pathogenic avian influenza first entered our country in 2005 via free-living birds, this worked temporarily. The virus came and went and came back sometimes.

“This year it has reached the point where the virus has not left Europe. This is good. This is the first time.”

More dangerous

Second, the virus appears to be more dangerous. More and more birds give up, like sand knots. Other animals can also die, such as foxes.

At the same time, there are disturbing stories from China and Laos. There has been an increase in the number of people infected with another type of bird flu, not H5N1, the main variant now circulating in Europe, but H5N6. This is genetically very similar, but with a different N protein on the surface of the virus. Last year, 5 people were infected, and this year the counter was 29. Ten people died of H5N6 infection.

Genetically, the H5N6 variant is about the same as the virus circulating in Europe. They all come from a common ancestor who grew up in the 1990s on an intensive poultry farm in China.

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