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H5N8 AI Diagnosed in Wild Swans in Holland


Veterinary authorities in Holland recently isolated avian influenza strain H5N8 from wild swans in the province of Utrecht. Farmers are now under orders to confine flocks to prevent contact with free-living birds.


Swans appeared to be highly susceptible to avian influenza and may be regarded as sentinels for introduction of the virus by migratory waterfowl as evidenced by outbreaks of AI in various EU nations in fall months in past years. 


A further example of the spread of H5N8 relates to a report that over one million commercial poultry of diverse species have been depleted in Kazakhstan in an attempt to control the infection.