Rostock Zoo open after bird flu case

Rostock Zoo open after bird flu case

Avian flu: Rostock Zoo can open again
14.01.2015

No other suspected bird flu case has been discovered in Rostock Zoo. After the H5N8 pathogen was found in several birds in the zoo, the facility was temporarily closed. Parts of the zoo can be visited again from Wednesday.

Part of the zoo opens up a sigh of relief in the Rostock Zoo: According to a message from the dpa news agency, after evaluating all samples of birds and animal feed, there are no further suspected cases of bird flu. According to a message from the zoo, the section around the Darwineum may reopen on Wednesday. The zoo was closed last Thursday. Since the beginning of January, a total of 60 animals, including white storks, geese, ducks and ibises, have fallen victim to avian flu in the waders of the zoo.

Cause of disease outbreak unknown Three infected storks had died, 57 birds were killed as a precaution. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, these animals were infected with the H5N8 bird flu virus. All results outside the waders' house were negative. According to Agriculture Minister Till Backhaus (SPD), the loss of 60 animals is very unfortunate. "Fortunately, this highly dangerous epidemic did not spread due to our measures." The cause of the epidemic is not yet known.

Pathogen has appeared in Europe since November Since November, the H5N8 virus subtype, which previously only circulated in East Asia, has appeared in several European countries. It is not yet clear whether the virus has come to Europe via wild birds or the feed and poultry trade. Diseases of people who have been exposed to H5N8 have so far not been reported. Other types of viruses, such as H7N9, have been shown to transmit to humans. Typical bird flu symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat were seen in these patients. In more rare cases, symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting can also occur.

Worry in other zoos too In other zoos, birds have been worried about avian influenza in Rostock Zoo. In the Marlow bird park in the Rostock district, all waterfowl have been brought from the pond into aviaries since the introduction of the stable in November, in order to prevent contact with wild birds, said zoological director Gudrun Haase. Every day, the caretakers checked all the birds to see if they looked healthy. "So far we have had no problems," said Haase. In the Schwerin Zoo, which is not in a risk area, there is no stable requirement. There, the birds continue to frolic in the open, as the researcher Sabrina Höft said. "We are actually quite relaxed," says Höft. "We do what is possible, but we cannot rule out anything." All birds are said to be closely monitored.

Half the price of admission to the Rostock Zoo As announced, the Rostock Zoo can initially be visited for half the price of admission. According to the ministry, however, special epidemic measures apply. For example, disinfection mats must be used. Other areas of the zoo remain closed to await further investigations and measures. The compulsory stable remains in risk areas as well as in the Rostock urban area. (ad)

Image: Bruno Glätsch / pixelio.de

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