Israel detects bird flu among dozens of wild cranes


Dozens of wild cranes infected with the H5N1 bird flu have been detected in Israel’s Hula Valley, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said.

The cases were identified after abnormal crane mortality in the area, and laboratory sample tests detected the deadly H5N1 strain, the Ministry said in a statement.

Following the detection, the Ministry of Health conducted an epidemiological investigation and gave treatment to people who were close to the infected birds, reports Xinhua news agency.

At this time of year, hundreds of thousands of birds pass through Israel on their way to Africa, increasing the risk of infection, the statement noted.

The Ministry called on farmers to keep separation between farms and wild birds to prevent infection.

Cases of bird flu have recently been discovered in chicken coops in northern and southern Israel.

The first and largest outbreak of bird flu in Israel was recorded in 2006, involving nine industrial turkey coops in the south.

H5N1 bird flu can also infect other animals, such as pigs, cats and tigers, and in rare cases humans as well.



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