H5N8 Bird flu outbreak reported in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu that has infected a poultry farm confirmed the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in a press release.

Emergency measures were implemented by an emergency team that controlled the outbreak at the epicenter said Ministry spokesperson Dr. Abdullah Abal Khail.

According to sources, the outbreak occurred in Central Riyadh’s Sudair area.

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The teams have killed 22,700 birds according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) report cited from the Ministry on Tuesday.

As many as 385,300 birds in the flock were slaughtered the report said. This is the first case of the outbreak of the H5N8 virus in Saudi Arabia since July 2018.

Abal Khail confirmed the type H5N8 strain affects birds and is not transmitted to humans.

The strain was earlier reported in the Kingdom at the end of 2017 and does not pose a threat to public health.

Poultry farmers are advised to take utmost care, as well as, apply preventive measures.

They are also advised not to import new birds for the time being by the Ministry spokesperson.

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