Salem Radio Network News Thursday, January 20, 2022

Health

New bird flu outbreak in Northern France, two more suspected

PARIS (Reuters) -Local authorities in northern France said on Monday a new bird flu cluster had been detected over the week-end in the region, adding that two additional possible bird flu cases in poultry farms were currently under investigation.

A number of outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported recently to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in a sign the virus that can be devastating to flocks is spreading quickly again.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, is often spread by migrating wild birds. A first outbreak in a farm in France had been detected on Nov. 26 in a poultry farm in the north of the country.

Several cases had previously been detected in France among backyard poultry as well as in a wild bird, prompting the government to demand that poultry flocks be kept indoors.

New health protection measures could be adopted in the coming days due to the spread of the disease, the regional government authorities in the North said.

A massive wave of the virus last winter led the authorities to cull more than three million ducks in its southwestern duck-breeding region known for production of foie gras pate.

Bird flu cannot be transmitted through the eating of poultry products but outbreaks are raising concern among epidemiologists, especially as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, because the virus can be transmitted to from one human to the other.

(Reporting by Pascal Rossignol; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Louise Heavens)

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