Bird Flu Turns Up in Wild Duck in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 10.03.2009
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Bird Flu Turns Up in Wild Duck in Germany

Berlin has told the European Commission that a case of bird flu involving a strain of the virus that can be lethal to humans was discovered in Germany. It's the first appearance of the H5N1 strain in the EU this year.

A dead duck being tested for bird flu

The infected duck was shot on Jan. 10, authorities said

The outbreak "was found in a wild duck shot during a hunt near the town of Starnberg in the German state of Bavaria," the European Union's executive arm said in a statement on Tuesday, March 10.

The commission said that Germany, which has carried out "protection measures" to ensure the virus is not spread, would not be forced to quarantine the area around where the bird was found or monitor the region.

"On basis of the favorable result of a risk assessment, Germany may refrain from the establishment of a control area and a surrounding monitoring area around a positive finding," the statement said. "This derogation has been used taking into account that the hunt had already taken place in January."

Though bird flu is difficult for people to catch, the H5N1 strain has killed at least 250 people worldwide.

The last wild-bird case of bird flu in the 27-nation bloc was found in a Canadian goose in Britain in February last year, while the last outbreak in poultry of H5N1 in the EU was detected last October in the German state of Saxony.

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