BERLIN An outbreak of deadly bird flu has been
identified in a southern German poultry farm, a spokeswoman for
Bavaria's environment ministry said on Saturday.
The spokeswoman said dead ducks from the farm in Wachenroth
in Bavaria's Erlangen-Hoechstadt area had tested positive for
the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus, which can be
lethal for people living in close contact with birds.
All 160,000 birds in the farm would be culled, the ministry
spokeswoman said. The farm has been sealed off.
Local authorities had earlier said the farm contained some
44,000 birds. Officials discovered the infection after more
than 400 ducks at the farm died over a short period of time.
Germany identified several cases of the deadly H5N1 strain
in wild birds in Bavaria in June. A string of bird flu
infections were also registered in Germany last year.
Earlier this week, Russia banned poultry imports from Italy
to prevent the spread of bird flu after outbreaks there.
Globally, the H5N1 virus has killed 195 people out of 322
known cases, according to the World Health Organization.
Hundreds of millions of birds have died or been slaughtered.
The vast majority of bird flu deaths have been in Asia. No
deaths have yet been registered in the European Union.