Three swans found dead in eastern France due to H5N1 bird flu virus infection, confirmed by French agriculture ministry. Tests were found positive on swans for deadly avian flu virus.
French officials have set up a control zone about 1 km around a pond, where the young swans were found dead, and the ministry said it was increasing its bird flu threat level to “high” from “moderate”, and domestic birds across the country would be protected to avoid all contact with wild birds.
France, Europe’s biggest poultry producer, had increased its precautions against bird flu in June, saying the risk of the disease hitting the country had gone up after it was found in a number of wild birds in Germany.
The H5N1 bird flu virus, which experts fear could transmute into deadly human influenza, has also been found in wild birds in Hungary, Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic this year.
Globally, the H5N1 virus has killed nearly 200 people out of over 300 known cases, according to the World Health Organisation. None of the victims were from Europe.