Bird flu in Spain will claim 17,000 ducks

DucksCageAnother outbreak of deadly flu virus, this time in Spain, is to take the lives of more than 17,000 ducks.

The H5N8 virus was found in a farm near Girona in Catalonia and authorities announced on Thursday that the ducks would be culled.

Until this outbreak, the only virus detected in Spain had been in three wild animals. Health authorities are now inspecting surrounding farms for indications that the virus may have spread.

Nine farms in total are currently under investigation in Catalonia as a precautionary measure.

The official overseeing public health in Catalonia, Joan Guix, said the virus “does not spread to humans”. It is, however, deadly for poultry.

The strain is the same one that has caused thousands of ducks and geese to be slaughtered in the southwest of France, predominately in the Landes and Gers regions.

The H5N8 strain has spread across Europe and the Middle East since late last year, leading to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of poultry and the confinement of flocks indoors.

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