The Swiss federal office of food security and veterinary affairs (OSAV) announced that from tomorrow, all of Switzerland will become a controlled zone. The agency aims to avoid all contact between wild birds and domestic ones. Adding that nothing so far indicates Swiss bird farms have been affected or that the virus has been transmitted to humans.
The image below shows where and when dead birds were found in Switzerland:
Free range domestic bird movement is to be restricted. These birds will need to be housed. Any birds showing symptoms must be reported to the authorities.
The situation is similar elsewhere in Europe, particularly in northern Germany, near Poland. “Essentially, they are birds from Russia, moving south” said Hans Wyss, Directer of the OSAV. The OSAV said the measures will remain in place until the end of January when the migration period ends.
Dead bird locations in Europe are shown on the map below:
For the moment the situation isn’t serious. “We wanted to take action so the situation doesn’t become serious” he said, while pointing out how they are working in close cooperation with neighbouring countries.
The H5N8 virus is very dangerous for poultry and spreads fast. “After one or two days, a farm can lose 10% to 15% of its animals, repeating every day” said Lukas Perler, the person responsible for the fight against epizootic diseases (animal epidemics) at the OSAV.
Switzerland has around 20,000 poultry farms, of which 10% to 15% will be required to take action. The image below shows were poultry farms are located:
While H5H8 virus does not transmit to humans, H5N1 does. The fear is that H5H8 mutates to H5H1.
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Federal office of food security and veterinary affairs communiqué (in French)
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