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Heightened risk of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza
  1. Simon Hall1,
  2. Sheila Voas2,
  3. Christianne Glossop3 and
  4. Robert Huey4
  1. 1UK Deputy Chief Officer, e-mail:
  2. 1Chief Veterinary Officer (Scotland), e-mail:
  3. 3Chief Veterinary Officer (Wales), e-mail:
  4. 4Chief Veterinary Officer (Northern Ireland), e-mail:

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SINCE November 3, highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 has been confirmed in dead wild birds in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. Reports indicate that this is a more virulent strain than has been seen in recent outbreaks, including H5N8 cases in the USA in 2014/15 and the strain found in Yorkshire in 2014. Wildfowl species including tufted ducks, coots, common pochard, gulls, curlews, wild geese and swans, appear to be particularly affected, with high mortality wherever the virus has been found, and are considered …

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