A mass cull of ducks continues at the farm in southern Germany which has come down with an outbreak of deadly bird flu. It is the highly contagious H5N1 strain for which there is no vaccine or treatment, so no chances are being taken. Everything moving in and out of the quarantine zone is being disinfected, and 160 thousand birds in all are being slaughtered. Until this outbreak in Erlangen in northen Bavaria, apart from one in eastern Germany, all previously reported cases were in the wild.
“The virus was discovered on a poultry farm in Hoechstadt during a routine control. Some suspicion of bird flu arose, and these suspicions were confirmed by the latest report” says an official. Scientists are taking such precautions because they fear the strain, which first started killing birds and people in Asia in 2003, will eventually mutate into a flu that humans can catch and propogate, triggering a deadly pandemic.