Both farms were blocked by the competent veterinary authority. The remaining animals on the farm with confirmed avian influenza were killed under official supervision; samples from the suspected farm were sent to AGES. In coordination between the Ministry of Health and the provincial authority, an extension of the risk area will now be defined, in which a stall-keeping obligation will apply to farms with 350 or more poultry. An amendment to this effect is being drafted by the Ministry of Health in agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and will come into force in the next few days.
Currently, the H5N1 subtype, which is highly infectious for a number of bird species, including most domestic poultry, is rampant in birds throughout Europe. This virus is poorly adapted to humans, so transmission from birds to humans is a rare event: almost all human infections are due to very close, prolonged contact with infected or sick birds or their feces when humans and birds live together under the same roof, including the recently reported avian influenza infection in a human in the United Kingdom.
In any case, the recommended increased protective measures should be followed when handling poultry and wild birds: Poultry keepers should enter all sheds and enclosures where poultry are kept only after thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting footwear or wearing protective clothing and overshoes used exclusively there. Waterfowl and birds of prey found dead must be reported to the competent district administrative authority (official veterinarian). Such animals should not be touched and should be left at the place where they were found; recovery and further examinations will be arranged by the authority.