Bird flu found in Prague East district

Several cases have also been reported in South Moravia

Veterinarians have confirmed two new outbreaks of bird flu. Previous outbreaks have been in South Moravia. One of the two new cases is in Lázně Toušeň in the Prague East district of Central Bohemia, and involves geese. The other is in Dyje, in the Znojmo district of South Moravia.

So far there have been five outbreaks in the Czech Republic, including the one in Central Bohemia. Thousands of chickens and ducks are being culled on two farms in South Moravia since Friday, according to the State Veterinary Administration. The disease has been reported in other countries as well, including France, Germany and Switzerland. It has hit 14 countries since October 2016.

Birds have been culled in a 3 km radius around the Southern Moravian towns of Ivančice and Moravský Krumlov. A 10 km observation zone has been established as well. Farmers can claim compensation from the state for the loss of the poultry. The state has set aside Kč 31.3 million for this cause.

Some 800,000 ducks and geese are expected to be culled in France by Jan. 20 as previous measures have not contained the outbreak. Among the affected areas is the southwest of France, whose foie gras industry will be hit hard. Tens of thousands of birds have been culled in Germany.

While the H5N8 bird flu strain can be fatal to birds, it has not been found in humans. It also cannot be transmitted via food. In a worse-case scenario, experts fear the virus could evolve and become transmissible to non-avian species including humans.

Experts disagree on the cause of the current outbreak, with some blaming migratory birds and others pointing the finger at industrial farming practices.

The current outbreak was first spotted in a wild swan in Hungary, which was found one week before the first outbreak was seen at a farm.

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