Two new outbreaks of bird flu reported in central, southern Israel

All coops within 10 kilometers of the outbreaks were placed on lockdown.

A sign at the edge of an exclusion zone warns of the closure of a footpath after an outbreak of bird flu in the village of Upham in southern England, February 3, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS)
A sign at the edge of an exclusion zone warns of the closure of a footpath after an outbreak of bird flu in the village of Upham in southern England, February 3, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS)

Outbreaks of avian influenza were found at farms in Be'er Tuvia in southern Israel and Magal in central Israel, the Agriculture Ministry announced on Tuesday.

About 25,000 turkeys are located at the location of the outbreak in Magal and about 25,000 chickens present in the location of the outbreak in Be'er Tuvia. All the infected poultry were infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus.

All coops within 10 kilometers of the outbreaks were placed on lockdown.

The Agriculture Ministry advised anyone who owns birds or poultry to keep the birds inside buildings and to prevent them from going outside in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Agriculture Ministry stressed that it is still safe to purchase poultry and eggs and, as usual, all poultry and eggs should be cooked to completion before consumption.

 View of Shluhot, on November 23, 2022, following an outbreak of the Avian influenza.  (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90) View of Shluhot, on November 23, 2022, following an outbreak of the Avian influenza. (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

Outbreaks continue to spread in Israel, Europe and North America

The outbreaks are the fifth and sixth ones detected in Israel this season.

Late last month, Israeli officials reported to the World Organization for Animal Health that a Dunlin bird was found dead and infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus at the Hula Lake in northern Israel in November.

The first outbreak of the season was reported at a turkey slaughterhouse in Kibbutz Shluhot in northern Israel in November.

In late 2021, a large outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza swept through Israel, with the Agriculture Ministry calling it one of the largest outbreaks in the world.

Additionally, for the first time, the virus caused a mass fatality event among wild birds last year, killing one million birds and 8,000 cranes in 20 hotspots across the country, including the Hula Lake.

The new infection in Israel comes amid an ongoing outbreak in North America and Europe which began in 2021 and has been described as "the largest-ever" outbreak on both continents.