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Czechs find bird flu at two more poultry farms

Vets found an unidentified type of H5 bird flu virus at two Czech farms with 71,000 poultry, bringing the number of outbreaks at farms to four, the State Veterinary Authority (SVS) said on Wednesday.

The State Veterinary Authority said it knew the virus found at the two new farms was of the H5 strain, but had not confirmed it was the H5N1 form, which can be fatal to humans. The Czechs found their first bird flu case, which involved the lethal H5N1 strain, at a turkey farm in the eastern part of the country in June. The two farms where the disease was reported on Wednesday are within a 3-km (1.9-mile) protective zone around another farm where H5N1 was found. “We identified the virus during monitoring before the disease had broken out, which is good because it limits the chances of a further spread,” SVS spokesman Josef Duben said.

Poultry at both farms would be slaughtered, he added. Duben said standard 3-km protection and 10-km surveillance zones would be expanded to include the neighborhood of the two farms. More than 30 countries have reported bird flu outbreaks in the past year, mostly in wild birds. Since late June, Germany has reported the H5N1 virus in dozens of wild birds and in a pet goose.

Globally, H5N1 has killed nearly 200 people out of over 300 known cases, according to the World Health Organization. None of the victims were from Europe. (javno.com)