A poultry farm in southern Germany found birds infected with the highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 bird flu, according to press reports. Some 160,000 birds were slaughtered as a precaution.
Ducklings at the farm near Erlangen, in northern Bavaria, were infected with the disease. More than 400 birds had died over a short time on the farm, according to the state consumer protection ministry.
Several cases of the virus have surfaced among wild birds in Germany this year. The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is linked to the deaths of more than 190 people worldwide. While difficult for humans to catch, experts continue to fear a mutated form could develop that spreads easily among people. However, most human cases have been traced to contact with infect birds.