Expert sees "completely new quality" in bird flu

The National Trust's team of rangers clear away dead birds on the UK coast.
Image: dpa

A massive incidence of infection is currently being observed not only in Germany, but also in the British Isles and in Scandinavia to Iceland. In addition, North America is “flooded” by the virus.

Die spread of bird flu has, according to one expert, "a completely new quality" this year. Timm Harder, head of the national reference laboratory for avian influenza at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) near Greifswald, spoke of a massive incidence of infection not only in the German area of ​​the North Sea and Baltic Sea, but also on the British Isles and in Scandinavia to Iceland .

"All of North America is also inundated by this virus," he told the German Press Agency. One could speak of a real pandemic in wild birds.

For the North Sea alone, the vet assumes that tens of thousands of birds have fallen victim to the H5N1 virus. A large summer wave particularly affected seabirds that breed in colonies. In Germany, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony were particularly affected during the summer. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the other hand, there was recently less evidence than in the spring.

The only measure left is to collect infected carcasses as quickly as possible. "The virus can certainly no longer be contained in this way," said Harder.

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