​Highly contagious bird flu identified in Germany

Agriculture Ministry says -- disease could be transmitted to humans

Baku. 17 December.REPORT.AZ/Thousands of poultry to be slaughtered, Agriculture Ministry says -- disease could be transmitted to humans.

H5N8 virus -- a strain of highly contagious bird flu -- has been identified at a turkey farm in Lower Saxony's Cloppenburg region, informs Report citing Anadolu Agency.

"The same strain of bird flu has been detected as the one identified in Germany's Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Netherlands in November," Lower Saxony's Minister of Food, Agriculture, Consumer Protection and State Development Christian Meyer said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cases of the same bird flu -- H5N8 -- were detected at a farm in Germany on November 4 and on January 18.

Meyer said that 19 thousand poultry at the turkey farm and 12 thousand others in another farm would be slaughtered.

The bird flu strain, H5N8, is highly contagious among poultry and could be transmitted to humans -- although there has never been a case recorded to date.

After the quarantine of the bird flu at the farm, samples were transmitted to the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute where the strain of the virus was detected.

Lower Saxony is home to the largest number poultry manufacturers among the German federal states. There are 13.5 million poultry in the region of Cloppenburg where the bird flu virus was detected.

Around 300,000 poultry were slaughtered after a bird flu epidemic in 2008 in Lower Saxony.

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