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H5N8 still circulating in Hungary

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HUNGARY continues to record new outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza – but there have been no more cases in other European countries.

Defra said in its latest analysis of the situation 69 more cases had been reported since its previous update on 21 April on commercial poultry farms.

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The majority of those were described as secondary outbreaks, with three new primary cases.

They are predominantly concentrated in the south-west of the country.

‘Widespread’

“Disease appears to be widespread in commercial premises in southern Hungary, with surveillance activities identifying new outbreaks,” the latest assessment said.

“It is assumed that these outbreaks represent the most southern extension of the ongoing H5N8 outbreak.”

The overall risk to the UK remains low, the report says, but it notes that the virus could survive on pasture in wild bird faeces for “several weeks” at ambient temperatures.

And that the immunity of wild birds to H5 high path avian influenza may be low at the moment, adding that maintaining high biosecurity on poultry farms remained important.