First bird flu infection this year confirmed in Slovenia

Ljubljana/Slovenska Bistrica – The first case of avian influenza (H5N1) in domestic poultry in Slovenia this year has been confirmed in a small farm in the municipality of Slovenska Bistrica, said the Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection Administration. Authorities urge poultry farmers to implement strict detection and prevention measures.

“Suspicion was raised on Sunday by a veterinarian, following a report by the farm of an increase in poultry mortality,” the administration said on Monday, and reiterated the importance of early detection to farmers, as did the Agriculture Ministry.

Avian influenza began to spread across Europe in early December. So far, the subtypes identified do not pose a significant risk of human infection, the authorities said.

The disease is transmitted through contact between animals via their excrement, contaminated uncooked products (eggs, meat), contaminated feed, water and bedding. Transmission is also possible through contaminated footwear and other equipment, the ministry explained.

Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect all poultry. Any suspicion or occurrence must be reported to the nearest veterinary organisation or regional office of the Food Safety Administration.