Avian flu warning throughout Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Avian influenza has spread throughout Latvia, and infectologists have concluded that people may also be infected after direct contact with infected birds. There is no vaccine against this illness and there is a high probability of fatal cases, so the population is advised against going near dead or ill birds, Kurzeme Television reported June 16.

Until now, Kurzeme had been free from the dangerous virus, but it has now spread throughout the country.

In addition, infection scientists have concluded that the type of avian influenza dangerous to humans is now spreading to Latvia. People lack immunity against this form of influenza, so it can spread quickly.

The epidemiologist of the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC), Viktorija Leitēna, said that

"avian influenza is dangerous and people are also more ill than with seasonal influenza. Lethality is higher, about 50%".

"When the virus is in direct contact with the mucosa of the mouth, nose, or eyes, the human may also become ill. Infected birds release the virus with saliva, with stools and with mucus. So wash your hands and don't touch your face!” said Leitēna.

The Food and Veterinary Service has received the results of laboratory examinations confirming avian influenza in dead birds in cities and close to tourist popular places in the countryside.

“It is just like with Covid – there is greater morbidity where larger population is present. Very many call us about these birds found. We go, look, take samples,” said Ivars Koloda, head of the Ziemeļkurzeme deportment of the Food and Veterinary Service.

Poultry breeders should currently use respirators, gloves, and disinfectants, live carefully and in isolation.

It is currently known that no bird grower or exporter has been in contact with highly pathogenic avian influenza, but all birds should be eliminated if the virus enters the holding.

Dead specimens in cities must be notified to the public utility services or local government police. Tourists and children must be informed. 

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