Estonia reported bird flu outbreak on poultry farm, WOAH says

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Estonia has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus on a farm in the northern part of the country, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Friday.

The poultry farm, located in the village of Urge in the Rapla County, had 161 birds, including laying hens, ducks, geese, pigeons and peacocks, WOAH said, citing Estonian authorities.

On Feb. 15, one laying hen suddenly died and was sent to the laboratory. By Feb. 17, 16 laying hens had also died and by March 2, three geese, three peacocks and one duck had died too, it said. All remaining birds were culled.

The highly contagious avian flu virus has been spreading around the globe leading to the death of more than 200 millions of poultry since early last year and raising concern for governments and the poultry industry as it disrupts supply, fuels food prices and poses a risk of transmission to humans.

The World Health Organization described the situation as “worrying” after two confirmed human cases of H5N1 bird flu were found among one family in Cambodia. One of them, an 11-year old girl, died last week.