Netherlands confines poultry after highly contagious bird flu outbreak

The Dutch health authorities on Tuesday asked all poultry farmers to confine the animals to stop an epidemic of highly contagious bird flu.

The decision was made after the detection of the H5 strain of bird flu on a farm in the province of Flevoland, in the center of the country, reported the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture.

Some 36,000 birds were euthanized on the farm to prevent the spread of the virus, “the ministry added in a statement.

The ministry also reported an increase in dead wild birds in North Holland and infected wild birds in Germany.

It is the second such epidemic in the Netherlands this year, following a similar outbreak in February, when an infection was detected on a turkey farm in the south.

The Netherlands was the worst hit country in 2003 when a deadly strain of bird flu emerged H7N7, which killed at least one person, infected 255 flocks of poultry and forced the slaughter of 30 million birds, according to the National Library of Medicine.

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