As bird flu cases rise, officials urge people not to touch dead animals
Due to the rising number of bird flu cases, Belgium’s Federal Food Chain Safety Agency (FASFC) is urging people to avoid contact with dead animals.
Authorities have called for heightened vigilance, especially for poultry and wild birds, after a second outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on farms in West Flanders near the French border.
“Poultry and birds that are still present will be euthanized in accordance with European and Belgian law to avoid further spread of the virus,” officials explained.
“Strict biosecurity measures are in place in these areas. If poultry or birds show signs of illness, consult your veterinarian.”
The bird flu virus has already been circulating widely in wild birds since September, according to the FASFC. Therefore, poultry are at high risk of avian influenza infection through contact with wild birds.
“We are asking pedestrians and passers-by to call toll-free 0800 99 777 to report any encounters with dead wild birds,” the agency said.
Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a highly contagious viral disease that is likely to affect all bird species.
The FASFC said there was no scientific indication that the virus was also dangerous to humans, but the nature of symptoms and the course of the disease depended on the virulence of the virus strain, affected animals, the environment, and other infections. Depends on possibility.
“Contamination can occur through direct contact with sick animals or exposure to contaminants such as faeces or dirty boxes,” they explained. “Indirect contamination through air is also possible, but over relatively short distances.”
The virus is highly contagious in birds and can be transmitted to mammals in some cases, such as when foxes eat sick or dead birds.
It has also been detected in dead seagulls in the Anderlecht, Forrest and Laeken districts of Brussels.
Employees at the Brussels Environment have been asked to wear gloves and face masks when touching dead animals.
Residents who find the corpse are asked not to touch the corpse and instead call the center to report it.
https://www.thebulletin.be/avian-flu-cases-rise-authorities-remind-people-not-touch-dead-animals As bird flu cases rise, officials urge people not to touch dead animals