Published Date: 2007-06-24 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (109): Germany (Bavaria), wild birds, conf.
Archive Number: 20070624.2041
AVIAN INFLUENZA (109): GERMANY (BAVARIA), WILD BIRDS, CONFIRMED
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 24 Jun 2007
Source: AFX News Limited via Forbes [edited]
3 wild birds in Germany have died of the feared H5N1 strain of
bird flu, a health official in Nuremberg in southern Germany said.
Katja Guenther said tests carried out by the Friedrich Loeffler
Institute confirmed that 2 swans and a duck suffered from the H5N1
strain of the virus.
She said tests were being conducted on another 7 birds that died of
bird flu to see whether they too had been carriers of H5N1, which is
potentially lethal for humans.
The dead wild birds that were infected with the virus were found near
Nuremberg in the past week.
Local authorities said at the weekend that they planned to cordon off
areas to prevent the disease from spreading.
H5N1 was found on a poultry farm in the Czech Republic last week,
prompting the slaughter of some 6000 turkeys.
Germany battled a bird flu epidemic in 2005. It broke out on the
Baltic Sea island of Ruegen and spread to 6 of the country's 16
The disease spread to mammals, killing a cat and a stone marten
[weasel-like small carnivore. - Mod.JW], but did not affect humans.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall
[Germany's last outbreak of HPAI H5N1 was notified to the OIE on 7 Apr
2006; it referred to a turkey farm in the state of Sachsen. Contact
with wild birds was reportedly suspected; see
The outbreak was eradicated by stamping out, and on 28 Jul 2006,
Germany officially announced its regained freedom of HPAI as from 28
Jul 2006, in accordance with Chapter 2.7.12 of OIE's Terrestrial
Animal Health Code.
The confirmation of the new cases in wild birds has been carried out
by the OIE's Reference Laboratory for highly pathogenic and low
pathogenic avian influenza at the Federal Research Centre for Virus
Diseases of Animals (BFAV), Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Insel
(island) Riems, northern Germany. This is one of OIE's 7 avian
influenza reference laboratories worldwide.
During 2006, H5N1 was detected in wild birds in several European
countries, including Germany; see EU's Animal Disease Notification
System (ADNS) map at
and graphs showing the results of the surveillance undertaken in wild
birds, including the number of cases per week, per species and per
The last positive bird was detected on 2 Aug 2006.
The ADNS surveillance has been continued throughout 2006 and 2007,
with negative results. The 2007 graph, updated 21 Jun 2007, is
Unfortunately, it includes only the number of positives (which, since
2 Aug 2006, has been -- throughout -- zero), but not the denominators,
namely the number of wild birds investigated.
Statements from proponents and opponents of the role wild birds might
play in the epidemiology of H5N1, are expected:
- Do these German cases reflect a self-sustained infection evolving
within wild bird populations, or have they been infected from
- Is the Nuremberg event related, directly or indirectly, to the
recent outbreak in a commercial turkey flock in the Czech Republic?
- Was the source of infection there contact with wild birds or the
other way around (namely, initial Czech infection originating from
infected commercial poultry elsewhere, subsequently infecting wild
It will be surprising if the results of molecular studies of the
various viruses isolated will convince either group [proponents or
opponents] to accept unwelcome conclusions.
New results of the ADNS surveillance in wild birds in Europe will be
interesting to follow as they become available. - Mod.AS]