BBC news released an article this past Sunday, November 27th regarding the rising number of bird flu cases in the Netherlands leading to the slaughtering of approximately 190,000 ducks in order to prevent the spread of the flu to other Northern European nations. The virus was initially discovered in a town called Biddinghuizen in six different farms, and since then there have been reports of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Finland.
The H5N8 strain of bird flu, a disease that specifically targets avian species including poultry and other birds, was first discovered in South Korea in 2014 and then spread to North American, Europe, and Japan between 2014 and 2015. The H5N8 strain is commonly carried by birds that migrate from Asia to Europe and North America; however, this strain has not yet been seen to infect humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) still warns of the possibility of cross-species contamination, especially due to the recent H1N1 outbreaks in 2009. Therefore, people are encouraged to not consume poultry products from areas that have been contaminated by the virus or come in contact with infected birds. People are asked to wash their hands and to maintain good hygiene as universal precautionary measures.
Check out the article here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38121658
~Michelle Bach (Humans and Viruses 2016-2017)