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Bird Flu :: Germany culls massive poultry to stop bird flu spread

Health officers in Germany ordered a massive culling of geese after HSN1 bird flu virus was confirmed on a poultry farm in the country’s Bavarian region.

400 geese were found dead at Bavarian farm. Tests by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute of Veterinary Medicine found the deadly strain of the virus in five of the birds.

German officials were culling about 160,000 ducks yesterday.

Since 2004, some 270 humans have been infected with bird flu in 10 countries, with about 167 fatalities, mostly in Asia, according to the World Health Organization.

With the flu spreading around the world, the virus has turned up in birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. So far, bird flu has mostly been passed from birds either to other birds or, in isolated cases, to humans. In June 2006, WHO reported the first case of human transference of the disease, when an Indonesian man died after catching the flu from his 10-year-old son. If the flu mutates into a strain that can pass more readily from human to human, people will have no immunity and the flu will probably pass rapidly from person to person, creating a pandemic.

Flu vaccines can only be made to protect against a particular virus, and, since the virus had yet to be passed from human to human, no vaccine has been developed.

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