Dutch authorities reported a new outbreak of bird flu yesterday on a western poultry farm, but could not say if it was the worrying new strain detected elsewhere in the country.
“Avian influenza has been detected on a poultry farm at Zoeterwoude, where some 28,000 birds are affected. The birds are infected with the H5 variant of the flu but it’s not yet known whether of the highly pathogenic variety or not,” the economy ministry said.
The highly-infectious H5N8 strain of bird flu was discovered in the Netherlands two weeks ago, where authorities suspect it might have been brought in by birds migrating from Asia.
Some strains of avian influenza are fatal for chickens, and pose a health threat to humans, who can fall sick after handling infected poultry.
Dutch authorities said human infection can only occur after “intense and direct contact” with infected birds.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed more than 400 people, mainly in Southeast Asia, since in 2003. Another strain of bird flu, H7N9, has claimed more than 170 lives since 2013.
The outbreak lies 35 kilometers northwest of Hekendorp, where the first outbreak was detected, leading to 150,000 birds being destroyed.
Bird flu has been detected in at least three other locations in the Netherlands and Germany, and Britain has also reported similar strains.