Europe hit by ‘most devastating’ bird flu outbreak ever, EU says | Popgen Tech


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Europe has been gripped by its “most devastating” ever outbreak of bird flu in the past year, European health authorities said on Tuesday, as experts study the feasibility of vaccinations.

Between October 2021 and September 2022, around 2,500 outbreaks of bird flu were detected on farms in 37 European countries, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the EU said.

In that time, “around 50 million birds were slaughtered” on affected farms, the EFSA reported.

The toll did not include preventive culling of chickens, ducks and turkeys carried out in conjunction with the outbreaks, the health agency told AFP.

The EFSA said that “for the first time” there was no discernible separation between two epidemic waves, as the virus was not brought under control in the summer.

This autumn the epidemic was more violent than last year at the same time, with the number of infected farms 35 percent more.

Between 2 September and 10 December 2022, approximately 400 outbreaks were recorded on farms in 18 European countries. The virus has also been detected more than 600 times in wild birds, especially ducks and swans, which the report says may have contributed to the spread of the virus between farms.

Health authorities are studying the possibility of using vaccinations to stop the spread of the virus.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the risk of infection in humans is low, and “low to medium” for people who work in contact with birds and poultry.



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