Avian flu has returned to Slovakia

The veterinary authority has adopted steps to prevent the spread of disease.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Avian flu has returned to Slovakia. Tests have confirmed the occurrence of a highly pathogenic subtype of H5N8 in a private poultry farm in the village of Zbehy (Nitra Region).

The same subtype occurred in Poland in late 2019 and early 2020, the SITA newswire reported.

The breeder from Zbehy reported the death of three out of a total of 22 hens, the State Veterinary and Food Administration (ŠPVS) reported.

“The animals are no longer on the farm and have been disposed of by the breeder himself,” ŠPVS added, as quoted by SITA. “The preliminary investigation assumes the infection was carried by wild birds, as these were free-range hens.”

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The ŠPVS regional branch in Nitra has introduced measures to control the disease and to prevent it from spreading within a protection zone with a radius of three kilometres around the site of infection and within an observation zone of 10 kilometres around the outbreak.

Ministry: Be careful

The Agriculture Ministry has called on breeders to be careful and report any suspicious cases to the veterinaries.

It stressed that to prevent the disease from spreading, it is necessary to report any discovery of dead animals in nature. People should not touch the animals, but rather contact the respective authorities, the ministry said, as reported by SITA.

The veterinary inspector will then take samples, which will be subsequently tested, and secure the transfer of the animal’s body to a rending plant.

Although the risk of transmitting the H5N8 virus to people is low, it cannot be excluded, especially come in contact with birds, either domestic or wild, the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) reported.

Those who have come in contact with them and spot any signs similar to those of the flu should contact their doctors, it added.

ÚVZ also recommends people take care and report any signs of disease or the discovery of a dead animal to the respective bodies, the TASR newswire reported.

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