Economy, Domestic Economy

Bird Flu Afflicts Wild Ducks in North

Bird Flu Afflicts Wild Ducks  in North Bird Flu Afflicts Wild Ducks  in North

Iran has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu virus among wild ducks in the north of the country, the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health said on Monday, citing a report from Iran’s Agriculture Ministry.

The virus affected 1,300 ducks in the Boujagh Natural Park, all of which died from the disease or were killed, the report said, noting that migratory birds spend the wintering season in the area.

The report comes as Iranian poultry farms have been grappling with the H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus for months now. The outbreak has already spread across the country, leading to the cull of over 24 million chickens, Chairman of Iran Veterinary Organization Alireza Rafieipour said on Tuesday.

According to the official, the virus has been spread in the country by migratory birds about two years ago, IRNA reported.

Although the virus has infected broilers as well, a majority of losses have been incurred by egg-laying chicken farms.

The outbreak has inflicted losses worth over half a billion dollars on Iranian poultry farms this year. The province of Qom is said to be the hardest hit.

The H5N8 strain infecting Iranian farms is deadly for poultry, but according to World Health Organization, although human infection with the virus cannot be excluded, the likelihood is low.

As for the H5N6 strain, four known cases, three fatal, have occurred in humans as of July 12, 2015.

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