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Netherlands - First introduction of HPAI H5N1 virus in poultry in Europe - December 2020

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  • Netherlands - First introduction of HPAI H5N1 virus in poultry in Europe - December 2020

    Bird flu at Dutch poultry farms in 2020

    Published onDecember 15, 2020

    Bird flu has been diagnosed at a poultry farm in Buitenpost, the Netherlands, by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research. It concerns highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI). There are no other poultry farms within the 1 kilometer zone. To prevent the virus from spreading, the farm is culled by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). In total, this concerns approximately 28,000 animals.

    In the 3 kilometer zone around the infected farm there are no other poultry farms. In the 10 kilometer zone, there are 22 other poultry farms. In this zone a transport ban applies. This ban covers poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding, as well as other animals and certain products from commercial poultry companies.

    H5N1 virus

    The HPAI H5N1 virus at the farm in Buitenpost is the first introduction of this subtype virus in poultry in Europe. The H5N1 virus was found in several wild birds in the Netherlands. Genetic analyses shows that the virus in these wild birds is related to the HPAI H5N8 virus in the Netherlands. This H5N1 virus is not related to the virus that infected people in Asia. WBVR will will determine the entire genome sequence of the H5N1 virus found at the farm, and study the relationship with wild bird viruses in the Netherlands.
    In 2020 in the Netherlands bird flu was detected by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research at multiple poultry farms. In most cases it concerns highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the type H5N8.
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