According to reports reaching from Copenhagen, the Danish authorities on Thursday have reported the country's first case of H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration have announced that the bird flu virus was detected in a private farm near the city of Kerteminde in the southern part of Denmark. They also said that around a hundred chickens, ducks and geese on the farm have been destroyed, and added that a protection zone and surveillance zone were set up around the farm.
Denmark had earlier reported a number of bird flu cases in wild birds, but this is the first time it has reported the H5N1 virus in poultry. The health authorities on Thursday have halted exports of poultry from the island of Funen after birds on a farm tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu.
It was the first case of H5N1 in domestic birds in Denmark. The deadly strain of the virus had been found previously only in wild birds. This break out has been confirmed in domestic birds by the Danish national laboratory on Thursday. The officials said that the birds at the Funen farm were culled after 47 of about 100 died over a two-day period. A peacock and two guinea fowl had tested positive.
The Consumer Affairs Minister Lars Barfoed told at a news conference that they have established a new outbreak of bird flu in Denmark. Stating that the outbreak may force Denmark to halt all poultry exports to some countries, not just exports from Funen the minister said that but for now exports to other European Union countries could continue.
Scientists say H5N1 may eventually mutate so that it can be easily transmitted between humans. Because people lack immunity to it, it could sweep the world quickly, killing millions. The virus has killed 122 people since 2003 in nine countries and territories, according to the WHO.