Ukraine reports first H5 bird flu case in three years: OIE

By | January 20, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – Ukraine has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu on a farm in the west-central part of the country, the first of such outbreak in nearly three years, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Monday.

Citing a report from Ukraine’s veterinary services, the Paris-based OIE said the virus was of serotype H5 but gave no further detail.

The H5N8 virus, often carried by migrating wild birds, has spread in eastern Europe in recent weeks, hitting farms and backyard poultry in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

Germany said on Monday that it had detected a case of H5N8 bird flu in a wild bird, adding that no birds on farms were involved.

The Ukrainian outbreak killed 4,856 birds out of a flock of 98,000 in Vinnitsa, the OIE said. The rest of the flock was slaughtered, it added.

The virulence of highly pathogenic bird flu viruses has previously prompted countries to bar poultry imports from infected areas.

Although some bird flu viruses have been infecting both birds and people, the H5N8 strain has never been reported in humans.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Bate Felix and David Goodman

Reuters: Health News