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Bird flu found in droppings of wild ducks in Netherlands

Xinhua, December 2, 2014 Adjust font size:

In two samples of droppings from wild ducks around Kamerik, in the province of Utrecht, highly pathogenic bird flu of the H5 type was found, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs announced on Monday night.

The sampling was part of the investigation into the possible role of wild birds in the spread of bird flu in the Netherlands. That investigation is still ongoing. Further analysis of the two infected samples from Kamerik should reveal if it is about H5N8 again. In the previously surveyed 1,500 wild birds the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was not found.

The first infection of the recent outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands was discovered on Nov. 15 at a poultry farm in Hekendorp, in the province of Utrecht. Five days later, the virus appeared at a poultry farm in the village of Ter Aar, in South Holland, followed by two infections at one duck and one chicken farm in Kamperveen, in the province of Overijssel. All previous bird flu infections involved the H5N8 variant.

According to initial results of the investigation by the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI), it is most likely that in Hekendorp, Ter Aar and Kamperveen separate introductions have occurred. Clarity on the cause of the bird flu found in Zoeterwoude is expected by the end of this week.

On Nov. 23 the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs imposed a regional approach to fight the bird flu outbreak. The country was divided into four poultry regions. Contact between these regions was reduced to a minimum. All measures were designed to prevent a further spread.

Sharon Dijksma, Dutch State Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on Monday stated in a letter to the parliament that she might come with new steps to combat avian influenza on Dec. 2, when a meeting is scheduled with representatives of the poultry industry.

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