http://wireupdate.com/wires/16148/h7-bi ... therlands/
KAPELLE, NETHERLANDS (BNO NEWS) -- A strain of bird flu was found at a poultry farm in southwestern the Netherlands on Friday, the Dutch government confirmed. Tens of thousands of chickens will be culled as a result.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation said in a statement that bird flu was detected at a poultry farm in the municipality of Kapelle, located in the province of Zeeland. "It involves the H7 variant," it said.
The Ministry said the exact subtype of the bird flu virus was not yet known, but noted that the low pathogenic variant is able to mutate into a highly pathogenic variant. "In the afternoon of March 25 it will be known whether this involves a low or highly pathogenic variant," the statement said.
In compliance with European rules, all 127,500 chickens at the poultry farm will be culled on Friday and a movement ban for a radius of 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) has been announced and applies to poultry, eggs, poultry manure, poultry litter and poultry food.
The Ministry said it believes the bird flu infection in Kapelle is likely the result of wild birds whose feces are contaminated with the virus. Humans do not frequently get infected, depending on which variant is involved, but there are fears the bird flu virus could mutate into a type that can easily spread among humans, causing a deadly pandemic.
In 2003, the Netherlands was hit hard by an epidemic of the H7N7 bird flu strain, resulting in the cull of more than 25 million birds. It also infected at least 89 people, all except three who had contact with poultry. One of the victims, a veterinarian, died after having close contact with infected poultry.