Israel detects bird flu outbreak near Lebanese border

Tel Aviv: Israel has detected an outbreak of the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza at a chicken farm near the country’s border with Lebanon, the state’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a statement.

The bird flu has spread in egg-laying hen coops in the village of Margaliot, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The flu was revealed after increased mortality of chickens in the farm and samplings examined in a lab.

The Ministry isolated the farm, which include 244,000 chickens, stopped egg marketing from it and conducted tests at other nearby coop farms.

The coops in the area market about six million eggs a month, out of about 200 million eggs consumed every month in Israel.

H5N1 bird flu can also infect other animals, such as pigs, cats and tigers, and in rare cases humans as well.

The first symptoms of bird flu in humans are usually severe respiratory illness and fever

Cases of H5N1 bird flu have recently been discovered in coops in northern and southern Israel.

On December 16, the Ministry reported dozens of wild cranes infected with H5N1, detected in the northeastern Hula Valley.