Avian flu outbreak in Croatia

Croatia has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus on a poultry farm, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said.

The outbreak infected five poultry among a flock of 19,600 on a farm in the county of Brodsko-Posavska near the Bosnian border, the Paris-based WOAH said in a report, citing Croatian authorities.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has spread around the globe in the past years, leading to the culling of hundreds of millions of poultry.

The latest outbreak follows the recent spread of the virus to Romania and Bulgaria

In Romania, the H5N1 virus was detected in a flock of 120 backyard poultry in the village of Tiganesti near the border with Bulgaria, causing the death of 28 birds, the Paris-based WOAH said, citing a report from the Romanian authorities.

Bulgaria, meanwhile, reported outbreaks of an H5-type bird flu virus on two poultry farms, WOAH said in a separate notice.

One outbreak in Malko Konare in the Pazardzhik region killed 380 birds out of a flock of 171,911, while another outbreak in Debelets in the region of Veliko Tarnovo killed 5,420 out of 395,045 farm poultry, WOAH said, quoting details from the Bulgarian authorities.

The intergovernmental body also recently reported that Poland, the European Union’s largest poultry producer, had detected H5N1 bird flu virus among poultry in the north of the country.

The spread of avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has raised renewed concerns amongst governments and the poultry industry after it has ravaged flocks around the world in recent years, disrupting supply, fuelling higher food prices and raising the risk of human transmission.