New bird flu cases suspected in Western Galilee

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May 11, 2015 22:03

 
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Agriculture Ministry officials announced suspicions on Monday that turkey coops in the Western Galilee, near Nahariya and the town of Shlomi, may be experiencing a renewed outbreak of avian flu. While samples from the birds were still being evaluated during the day on Monday, the ministry said that if the animals were deemed infected, they would be culled and buried accordingly.

H5N1 is highly contagious among poultry. The virus is zoonotic, meaning it could spread to humans. The first documented case in humans occurred in 1997, and it mainly circulates in Southeast Asia and northeast Africa. H5N1 cases first appeared in Israeli poultry in March 2006.

After a lull in disease occurrence since 2012, this year, commercial poultry flocks in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority experienced an outbreak of the disease in January and early February, though scattered cases were identified during March and April in the West Bank and Gaza.

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