Following the discovery of the bird flu H5N8 strain in a poultry farm in Hekendorp, the Netherlands, the European Commission will be conducting an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss proactive ways to contain the disease before it starts infecting humans. And to this end, the Dutch government has announced that the 150,000 birds at the poultry farm will be destroyed to forestall any infection to workers and residents.
The European Commission and the Dutch government are both positive that the H5H8 bird flu strain could potentially affect humans – and this had been the case between 2003 and December 2013 where 648 cases of humans contracting the bird flu H5H8 strain was reported, leading to 384 deaths in 15 countries.
In a statement released to the public, the Dutch government stated that “this highly pathogenic variant of avian influenza is very dangerous for bird life. The disease can be transmitted from animals to humans.” This can be made possible through close contacts with infected birds.
A three-day nationwide ban the transportation of poultry birds and eggs has been imposed by the government. Although facts have emerged that the poultry farm sells eggs rather than its poultry birds, it’s been confirmed that its produce is primarily sold in the Netherlands with some exported to Germany.
The UK has a singular case of the bird flu in Yorkshire with the risk to the public termed very low, a similar outbreak occurred in South Korea and millions of poultry birds were destroyed in an absolute bid to contain the virus, to which humans are also prone to its infection.