The European Commission has been informed by the Hungarian authorities of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Csongràd County, south-east Hungary.
The virus was suspected when an abnormally high mortality rate was reported in a flock of over 3,000 geese.
Diagnostic tests carried out by Hungary’s national laboratory confirmed the virus to be the highly pathogenic H5 strain, and samples will now be sent to the Community Reference Laboratory for avian influenza in Weybridge to determine if it is the H5N1 virus.
Hungarian authorities have already culled the infected flock, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. They are also applying the measures laid down in the Avian Influenza Directive and Decision 2006/415/EC, which entails the establishment of a protection zone of 3 km radius and a surveillance zone of 10 km around the infected holding, where poultry must be kept indoors etc.
This is the first incidence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the EU since August 2006. As part of the precautionary measures against the disease, all Member States continue to apply strong bio-security measures to minimise the risk as much as possible. Heightened surveillance is in place throughout the EU to identify and eradicate the H5N1 virus as quickly as possible if it occurs.