Israel has reported an outbreak of a severe strain of bird flu, the World Organization for Animal Health said on Monday, a case likely due to contact with wild birds migrating from Europe.
The outbreak occurred in Hefzi-Bah in the northern district of Hazafon, killing 1,500 birds out of 34,500 on the farm, OIC said, citing Israeli authorities.
“Israel is on the migration route of wild birds coming from Europe to Africa. The migration is ongoing and this virus strain probably arrived from Europe with migrating birds,” the organization added, Reuters reported.
Several countries in Europe including Germany, Austria, Croatia and Switzerland have reported the outbreaks of H5N8 virus recently.
H5N8 virus was initially reported as a low pathogenic strain in U.S. in 2008. A highly pathogenic strain of the virus was detected in 2014 in Asia in poultry species in Republic of Korea, Japan and China.
Though the virus is highly contagious in birds, it has never been found in humans.