Norway makes its first discovery of highly pathogenic bird flu

Several cases have also been reported in Israel in the past couple of months.

bird flu sde moshe (photo credit: AP)
bird flu sde moshe
(photo credit: AP)
Norway has detected its first case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu, the country's Food Safety Authority (FSA)said in a statement on Friday.
Farm birds in southern Norway must be kept indoors following the discovery of the infection in a wild short-billed goose, the FSA said.
The highly contagious and deadly form of avian influenza is spreading rapidly in Europe, putting the poultry industry on alert.
Several cases have also been reported in Israel in the past couple of months. 
In mid-October, the Israel's Agriculture Ministry found chickens infected with the bird flu in Kibbutz Ma'anit in northern Israel. The affected chicken coop was closed by the ministry and nearby farms were placed under restrictions.
Rougly one week later, two other cases were detected in different locations in Israel. The first case was diagnosed at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem in a swan. As a result, all winged animals in the zoo were isolated, according to the Agriculture Ministry's policy for whenever a strain of avian influenza is present within a population of birds. 
The second case was discovered in a chicken coop in Kibbutz Revadim that houses around 19,000 birds. The coop was placed in isolation and nearby farm were notified and put under certain restrictions. 
The strain of bird flu found in all reported cases was H5N8. It has yet to be found to infect humans but various reports have indicated that it is beginning to become more pathogenic for humans. 
The similar strains that were found across the country led the ministry to believe that the separate populations of birds contracted the virus from birds that migrate and pass over Israel during this time period, spreading the flu to different parts of the country. The ministry recommends that farm owners keep their poultry and livestock indoors and refrain from letting them roam in open areas, in order to reduce the risk of infection from the wild bird population.
Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.