“Bell” of danger the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine – Department of Animal Health and Veterinary Perception, Medicines and Applications of the Central Macedonia Region is calling about bird flu.
According to a circular (1523/342999/08.11.2023) of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food (YPAAT), “in the last days outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza were confirmed in countries of the Balkan Peninsula (Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia), while at the same time the presence of the virus is detected with greater frequency in other regions of Europe. The majority of cases concern wild birds, which are found in the field dead or half-dead.
However, as a result of the increased circulation of the virus in wild bird populations, the number of outbreaks in poultry farms is increasing in all countries, as is indicatively observed in Bulgaria and Romania. The current picture in the Balkans shows similarities with previous epidemic waves, when in Greece the virus was detected both in wild birds (2016, 2017, 2021 and 2022) and in poultry farms (2017).
It is reminded that bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds, which must be declared.
As reported by the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine – Department of Animal Health and Veterinary Perception, Medicines and Applications of the Region of Central Macedonia, based on recent developments, the spread of the disease in previous epizootics and the expected movements of migratory species of wild poultry, the in the coming period (November-May), the risk of bird flu reappearing in our country. Therefore, in order to avoid transmission of the virus from wild birds to poultry or other captive birds at this stage, it is imperative to remind poultry farmers and owners of domestic poultry about the existing risk and the need to apply biosecurity measures in their farms. The biosecurity measures for bird flu are listed in detail on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, http://www.minagric.gr → Farmer – Entrepreneur → Livestock → Birds → Bird Diseases → Bird Flu, in previous our announcements and are attached to the relevant announcement posted on the website of the Region of Central Macedonia.
It is reminded that in cases of increased morbidity or mortality of poultry, their owners are required to immediately inform the veterinary authorities so that the necessary samples can be taken.
In addition, other services and private entities that come into direct and frequent contact with wild birds (forest officers, hunters, federal game wardens, ornithological organizations, care centers, management agencies, etc.), contribute to the implementation of the program of epizoological investigation of Avian Influenza of Birds (Y.A. 192/41388/15.02.2023–Government Gazette B’ 775/09.02.2023), either by informing the relevant veterinary authorities in cases of finding dead or half-dead birds belonging to high-risk species, or by collecting and delivering them to they. In any case, prior to any collection and delivery process, contact must be made with the local veterinary authorities and the veterinary laboratories of the PHAAT, in order to give the appropriate instructions. The species of wild birds to be sampled according to the above program are listed in a table attached to the relevant notice posted on the website of the Region of Central Macedonia.
It is pointed out that when handling wild birds (collection, transport, sampling) the necessary personal protection measures should be taken (disposable gloves, cleaning and hand disinfection).
Finally, the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine – Department of Animal Health and Veterinary Perception, Medicines and Applications of the Region of Central Macedonia informs that, according to information from the Ministry of Health, based on a circular of the competent central Directorate of the Ministry of Health, it is recommended to professionals who are among the high-risk groups, such as veterinarians, poultry farmers, pig farmers, slaughterers and general people who come into systematic contact with birds or pigs and may be exposed to avian influenza virus, to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza, as a measure to reduce possibility of recombination and emergence of a new pandemic strain.