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13 Jun 2013

H5N1, Austria: Birdflu virus confirmed in smuggled birds, update (Health Min., June 13 2013)

[Source: Austria Ministry of Health, full page in German: (LINK). Automatic translation.]

H5N1, Austria: Birdflu virus confirmed in smuggled birds, update

BMG Information: bird smuggling uncovered - animals infected with H5N1


In the normal baggage checks the Austrian Customs discovered on 6 June smuggled birds (of different species of parrots and birds of paradise) in two pieces of luggage, the destination route was the Czech Republic on the airport Vienna-Schwechat. The 60 birds were packed into the two travel bags in tubes. The birds were brought immediately to the quarantine station of the Schönbrunn Zoo.

39 birds were already dead. All dead birds were routinely in the AGES delivered to determine the cause of death and carry out further investigation into possible animal diseases.

In a first intermediate result of the H5N1 virus was detected in the case of a highly pathogenic form of the dead animals. Precaution, all concerned (in / BMF, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, official veterinarian of the City of Vienna and provincial health directors) were immediately informed.

Meanwhile, all 60 animals were examined. Here, the H5N1 virus could be clearly demonstrated previously in four other birds that investigations are still ongoing. Among the animals that tested positive were two birds that were upon arrival in Vienna still alive.


Other measures

Veterinary Medicine:

The surviving animals were 11 Killed June under the supervision of border veterinary service and the AGES passed on for further investigation and epidemic safe disposal. The review of any cleaning and disinfection measures on site and any transport vehicles was initiated.

Human medicine:

Precaution were all people (1 border veterinarian, 7 inch officials) who have come into contact with animals unprotected, informed and prophylaxis with antiviral drugs (Tamiflu) treatment.

The two people who smuggled the animals are citizens of the Czech Republic. For this reason, the Czech authorities were immediately informed to take any further steps.


Assessment of the situation

The hazard potential is, according to veterinary and human medical experts as a low rate. It is not expected that all 60 animals were infected as in a number of samples no virus was detected. Therefore, the virus elimination is limited to a restricted number, the main source of infection is the faeces. With proper handling and maintenance of hygienic measures an infection of people is unlikely to be classified as addition, all birds were always under strict quarantine. (06/13/2013)