What you need to know about Avian Influenza in Europe

What you need to know about Avian Influenza in Europe

by Camelia Streff

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — There has been an increase in Avian Influenza across Europe and Germany with wild and domestic birds contracting the disease.

Avian Influenza is the bird flu, and the strain H5N8 has become prevalent according to news sources. Currently, humans are unaffected, and in an effort to prevent further transmission, culling of domestic poultry is being implemented.

“Our on-base and local authorities are doing everything to maintain situational awareness of the disease. Because we live and work near large bodies of water and lakes, we are susceptible to coming into contact with waterfowl that may be carrying the H5N8 virus,” said Tom Janis, USAG Bavaria Emergency Manager.

Capt. Rachel Lawrence is the officer in charge at Rose Barracks Veterinary Treatment Facility. She advises community members remain vigilant and offers these guidelines to follow:

  • Do not touch or pick up dead or sick birds. It is important to report sick or dead birds – both wild birds and poultry – to local authorities. Contact the Military Police and/or Polizei within your community.
  • It is completely safe to eat appropriately-cooked poultry. The virus cannot be spread in this manner.
  • Wash hands properly and often. You should always do so after handling birds or other animals, when cooking or preparing animal products, and before eating.
  • Seek immediate advice from your physician if you show signs of fever after being in contact with poultry, farmed birds, wild birds or other animals.

If you have any concerns regarding pet birds, call the veterinary clinic at DSN 476-2370, CIV 09641-83-2370, visit in person at Rose Barracks Bldg. 222, or message on Facebook.

The first H5N8 incident in Germany occurred in November 2016. The origin of this strain remains unidentified and no direct cause has been determined. According to news sources, testing continues, but the virus cannot be eradicated without this information.

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