Israel finds case of severe H5N8 bird flu, sounds all-clear


PARIS (Reuters) – Israel has reported a case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus in a wild bird, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from Israel’s agriculture ministry.

Contacted by Reuters, a spokeswoman for the ministry confirmed the case, saying it was isolated and contained.

The virus was detected in a wild owl in Jerusalem that died after showing clinical symptoms, the OIE said on its website.

“This was a migratory rather than a domesticated bird. We were of course obligated to report it, but it is not a cause for worry. When such a virus affects domesticated fowls, that’s a different matter,” the ministry spokeswoman said.

Asked whether there was any indication that the bird flu had spread beyond the owl, she said: “Absolutely not.”

Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Dan Williams; Editing by Dale Hudson and Susan Fenton

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