German authorities said on Thursday a duck on a poultry farm in northern Germany had tested positive for bird flu, the first time the disease has been detected among poultry in Germany.
News that bird flu has hit poultry comes as a blow to Germany
The bird flu crisis center in Schwerin said a duck on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen had tested positive for the virus. Further tests were being carried out to establish if it had the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu which can be fatal to humans. The test results were expected later Thursday from the Friedrich Löffler Institute, Germany's main veterinary laboratory.
The infected duck came from a small poultry farm of some 106 chickens and ducks near the town of Putbus on Rügen. All the poultry on the farm was slaughtered on Wednesday after routine testing raised suspicions about three birds, but only the duck was found to have the disease.
The first cases of the flu in Germany were found in wild swans
Germany is the second country in the European Union to confirm bird flu among poultry, after two chickens in southern Austria were found to be infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus on Wednesday.
However, if confirmed to have H5N1, the German ducks would be the first infected farm poultry in the EU as the two Austrian chickens were being held at a refuge and not a commercial farm.
Six more cases of H5N1 have been confirmed among dead wild birds found on Rügen, according to authorities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the northern state of which the island is part. A wild duck elsewhere in the state also tested positive for the virus.