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Pelicans In Vienna Zoo Put Down, Bird Flu Held Responsible

10 March 2017, 10:47 pm EST By Amy Gordon Tech Times
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Vienna Schoenbrunn Zoo has performed euthanasia on its flock of Dalmatian pelicans to restrict the spread of virus they were carrying. The pelicans were detected with H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus.  ( David Slater | Flickr )

Bird flu has reared its ugly head not only in China but also in the U.S. and as fears of an epidemic escalate, measures are being taken all over the world to control the outbreak.

The latest victim of the Avian Flu scare is the Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, which has administered euthanasia on a flock of 20 Dalmatian pelicans after the bird flu virus was found in their body.

The decision to cull the birds was taken by the zoo after it discovered that the entire flock was infected with the H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus.

How Did The Zoo Discover The Disease?

Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo has one of the biggest pelican flock's and the virus was detected on one of the birds earlier this week. Even though the Dalmatian pelicans had been kept in tents since December 2016 as a precautionary measure, it seems that this was not sufficient to safeguard the birds from the virus.

On Monday, March 6, one of the birds became severely ill and the zoo authorities had no option but to cull the pelican.

The zoo authorities examined its pelican flock and a statement reveals that the birds were euthanized on March 10. This was done as one pelican that had been examined was found with the virus in its body.

"To protect the remaining bird stock we had to put down all pelicans this morning," said Thomas Voracek, the zoo veterinarian.

They authorities shared that the pelicans were carrying the H5N8 virus, which does not affect humans but it is very harmful for birds as it spreads very quickly among them.

The zoo has shut down all the amenities used by the pelicans such as the bird house, the rainforest and the desert houses for the public in a bid to restrict the virus from gathering more ground.

Bird flu has spread rapidly in Europe, U.S. and the Middle East since late 2016; it led the poultry farmers to destroy hundreds and thousands of poultry and several flocks of other birds.

According to the latest report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, no case of human infections caused by the H5N8 virus has been found. In November 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that human infection caused by the virus cannot be eliminated entirely, but the possibility is very low.

Bird Flu In The U.S.

According to the reports shared by U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 5, a Tennessee farm is the unfortunate victim of bird flu in the U.S. The farm had 73,500 birds and all of them either died because of the infection caused by avian influenza or they were suffocated through foam to restrict the spread of the virus.

Health officials have assured that the chances of virus affecting the people or even food is very low.

Photo: David Slater | Flickr

 

 

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