Culling complete of birds infected with H5N1 in Aviel

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January 21, 2015 20:24
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Agriculture Ministry workers have completed culling operations of birds infected with avian flu at the Aviel farm near Hadera, the ministry announced on Wednesday.

Although identification and elimination of the birds infected with the H5N1 virus is complete, the Agriculture Ministry said that landfill operations necessary to prevent the spread of the disease will take another 48 hours. Meanwhile, cooperative treatment efforts continue across the border at impacted farms in the Palestinian Authority, the ministry added.

A highly contagious disease among poultry because H5N1 is a zoonotic virus, the illness also can potentially spread to humans. The first documented case in humans occurred in 1997, and mainly circulates in parts of Asia and northeast Africa, the World Health Organization said.

According to data submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health on Sunday by Dr. Nadav Galon, chief veterinarian at the Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Services, 30,000 cases of H5N1 were identified, with 15,000 resultant deaths and 10,000 other birds “destroyed.”

In Sunday's report, Galon wrote that 141,000 birds were deemed “susceptible,” but that 61,000 located at a farm 350 meters away from Aviel had not yet been infected.

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