UPPER AUSTRIA. Due to the worsening situation of infections with the H5N8 virus, also known as bird flu or avian influenza, in our neighboring countries, the Ministry of Health has decided to extend the zone with increased risk to the whole of Austria.
Since, in addition to wild birds, farmed poultry is also one of the endangered animal species, the obligation to keep animals in many municipalities in Upper Austria is being extended to the entire national territory. “The aim of these precautionary measures is to prevent wild birds from infecting the highly susceptible domestic poultry in the best possible way. The contact to migratory and wild birds is prevented by the obligation to keep the house stable and the poultry is protected, ”says Max Hiegelsberger, State Councilor for Agriculture. The occurrence of the H5N8 virus has already been reported in many regions of Europe, most recently in Bratislava. The spread of influenza viruses via migratory birds is in itself nothing unusual. Migratory birds bring various pathogens with them without seriously becoming ill themselves. However, if the pathogen encounters susceptible animals, it can lead to illness and death there. In the specific case, it is the bird flu virus H5N8, which has come to Europe from Asia and is harmless to humans. “So far there is no evidence that the H5N8 virus strain is transferable to humans. So there is no danger, ”explains Max Hiegelsberger, State Councilor for Agriculture.