Bird flu spreads to third Australian farm as 400,000 chickens are culled to stop the spread of the virus, a day after an infected child emerged

Another farm in Australia has been hit by a case of bird flu, so around 400,000 chickens will be culled to stop the spread of the disease.

Health officials and farmers are on high alert after the second case of avian influenza, a contagious infection found in birds, was detected on a rural property in Terang, 141 kilometers west of Geelong, Victoria, on Thursday. .

Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe symptoms and sudden death in domestic poultry, wiping out entire populations.

The farm is the third location where the disease has been detected, after the virus was found on an egg farm in Meredith, also in western Victoria, on Wednesday and a less dangerous strain was detected in Western Australia.

A second case of highly contagious bird flu, also known as bird flu, has been detected at another Victorian farm (pictured, health workers in protective suits arrive at an egg farm in Meredith, western Victoria, after the disease was detected on a property).

A second case of highly contagious bird flu, also known as bird flu, has been detected at another Victorian farm (pictured, health workers in protective suits arrive at an egg farm in Meredith, western Victoria, after the disease was detected on a property).

The disease was detected after the death of several poultry at the Terang farm, where the mass culling of around 400,000 chickens is currently taking place.

Agriculture Victoria said the H7N3 strain of the virus was also found on the Terang property, and the virus is linked to the egg farm in Meredith.

“The property is located in the Terang region and is linked to the property in Meredith where the highly pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian influenza virus has caused numerous poultry deaths,” Agriculture Victoria said in a statement on Thursday. .

“Control orders are in place restricting the movement of birds, poultry products, equipment and vehicles on or off properties in designated areas around the two infected facilities.”

Agriculture Victoria said health and safety workers closed a 1.5 kilometer area around the farm in Terang, while a 15 kilometer buffer zone was also established.

Earlier, dozens of health workers, supervised by Agriculture Victoria officials, arrived at the farm in Meredith wearing protective suits, masks and other protective equipment in grim scenes.

Several vehicles were also seen delivering large canisters of gas, after the property was quarantined and contact tracing began.

Health officials and farmers are on high alert after the H7N3 flu variant was detected on two farms (pictured, health workers and officials near a rural property in Meredith, Victoria).

Health officials and farmers are on high alert after the H7N3 flu variant was detected on two farms (pictured, health workers and officials near a rural property in Meredith, Victoria).

The virus strain at Terang's farm is linked to the disease found at Meredith's egg farm (pictured) on Wednesday.

The virus strain at Terang’s farm is linked to the disease found at Meredith’s egg farm (pictured) on Wednesday.

Despite concerns that the virus could be deadly, health officials said the H7N3 variant of bird flu is not a major health threat.

“This is not the type of bird flu that poses a risk to humans – it is a very small risk (and there are) very few cases around the world,” Dr Graeme Cook, director of health at Victoria Health.

“It is completely safe to consume eggs and still eat poultry,”

The cases come after a little girl who arrived in Victoria from India in March became the first confirmed case of bird flu on Wednesday, after contracting the more virulent H5N1 strain.

“Contact tracing has not identified any other cases of avian flu related to this case.” Victorian Chief Health Officer Dr Clare Looker said.

Another case of the virus, which is not linked to the outbreaks in Victoria, was found on a farm in Western Australia.

Katie Webb, acting veterinary director for the WA Department of Primary and Regional Industries, told Daily Mail Australia in a statement that the department is aware of the case.

Bird flu has caused the death of several poultry, but health officials have stated that the strain of the disease detected is not virulent and that people should not worry about poultry products sold in supermarkets (image from file in the photo).

Bird flu has caused the death of several poultry, but health officials have stated that the strain of the disease detected is not virulent and that people should not worry about poultry products sold in supermarkets (image from file in the photo).

“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is managing the detection of low pathogenic H9N2 avian influenza at a poultry farm in the south-west of Western Australia,” Ms Webb said.

“DPIRD has been working with the affected poultry operation to manage detection and reduce the likelihood of spread, and to implement additional biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of a new introduction of wild birds.”

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza continues to spread among bird populations around the world.

According to figures from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 90 million poultry in the US have been affected by the disease.

“Although cases are possible among humans in direct contact with animals infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, the current risk to the public remains low,” Agriculture Victoria said.

Symptoms and transmission of avian influenza A(H5N1) – ‘bird flu’

Symptoms of H5N1 infection may include fever, cough, headache, muscle pain, and respiratory symptoms.

Other early symptoms may include conjunctivitis and gastrointestinal symptoms.

The infection can progress rapidly to severe respiratory disease and neurological changes.

Avian influenza is spread by close contact with an infected bird (live or dead), such as by handling infected birds, touching droppings or bedding, or killing or preparing infected birds for cooking.

Many Australians eligible for free flu vaccine (file image)

Many Australians eligible for free flu vaccine (file image)

You cannot get bird flu from eating fully cooked poultry or eggs, even in areas with a bird flu outbreak.

Recommendations for the public

People traveling to areas affected by bird flu should:

  • avoid poultry farms and “wet” live bird markets;
  • avoid contact with wild or domesticated birds;
  • wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry and poultry products, such as meat or eggs;
  • Make sure poultry or poultry products are thoroughly cooked before eating.

Vaccination against seasonal flu is recommended for everyone over six months of age.

Many Australians are eligible to receive a free flu vaccine. This includes children under six years old, adults over 65 years old, pregnant women, and anyone who has a medical condition such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.

As a reminder, it is recommended that poultry workers, poultry handlers, and people involved in slaughter during an avian influenza outbreak be vaccinated annually against seasonal influenza.

If you have returned from a country affected by bird flu and are not feeling well, it is important to see a doctor.

Although the risk of becoming infected with bird flu is very low, it is important when scheduling a medical appointment to inform the provider of any possible exposure to bird flu.

Fountain: Victorian Department of Health