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All Slovenia High-Risk Area for H5N8 Bird Flu

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By: T.P., STA

As a third case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu was confirmed on Friday in a mute swan in Ljubljana, after the first two cases were detected in the coastal town of Piran in late November, the authorities have declared the entire Slovenia a high-risk area and ordered poultry breeders to take protective measures.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food said in a press release on Monday that a dead mute swan found in the Ljubljana area had tested positive for avian flu.

According to media reports, the swan was found in the Koseški Bajer pond in north-western Ljubljana, in what is the third case in wild birds in Slovenia after two were detected in the Piran municipality in late November.

The ministry has thus again called on poultry breeders to consistently follow the temporary protective measures issued by the Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection.

The administration has declared the entire Slovenia a high risk area for bird flu and urged breeders around the country to monitor the health condition of their poultry and report any changes.

Avian flu is a highly contagious viral disease that can infect all types of birds. The disease is transmitted through contact between sick and healthy birds, their faeces and infected products that have not been thermally treated.

The infection can only spread by means of contaminated feed, water or litter. Humans can spread the virus with contaminated footwear, equipment and means of transport but are not at risk of contracting the disease.

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