RTL Infos – Possible contamination of mammals: Authorities are closely monitoring the development of bird flu

RTL Infos – Possible contamination of mammals: Authorities are closely monitoring the development of bird flu
RTL Infos – Possible contamination of mammals: Authorities are closely monitoring the development of bird flu

Although bird flu is not transmitted between humans, according to the current state of knowledge, the competent authorities in Luxembourg are on alert.

And that’s because in recent months, mammals have been infected with the H5N1 virus, including dairy cows in the United States.

In Luxembourg, the Health Directorate, in close collaboration with the Luxembourg Veterinary and Food Administration (ALVA), is closely monitoring the global development of avian influenza, although no cases have yet been detected this year in the country in wild birds, poultry or mammals. The United Nations describes the risk of the H5N1 virus to human public health as low.

The Ministers of Health and Agriculture, Martine Deprez and Martine Hansen, nevertheless say they are prepared in case the bird flu virus spreads to dairy cattle herds in Europe. In the Grand Duchy, active and passive surveillance for poultry and passive surveillance for wild birds and carnivorous wild mammals have been set up by ALVA in collaboration with the Luxembourg Institute of Health.

As the H5N1 strain circulating in dairy cows in the United States has not been detected in Europe to date, no comprehensive preventive screening has been implemented for dairy cows in Luxembourg. As the Grand Duchy does not import cattle from the United States, the risk of direct contamination from one cow to another can be excluded.

The two ministers provided the details in response to a parliamentary question from CSV MP Jeff Boonen, who was concerned about the detection of a second case of bird flu in humans in the United States. This involves a person working on a farm where bird flu is spreading in the dairy herd.

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