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More dead birds confirmed to have infectious avian flu

THE NETHERLANDS. More dead birds have been found in the Netherlands which were killed by the highly infectious avian flu variant H5N8, the food and product safety board said on Wednesday.

Last week, all poultry farmers were ordered to keep their birds indoors because of the risk of spreading the disease. Now the economic affairs ministry says members of the public should not come into contact with birds in city farms and in zoos. Officials have also introduced a ban on bird shows and on hunting ducks and geese.

The H5N8 variant of bird flu can be transmitted to people in rare cases. They will experience light flu-like symptoms, the public health institute RIVM said.

The last outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands was in 2014 but that was restricted to a handful of farms. The 2003 avian flu outbreak cost the Dutch poultry and egg industry at least €300m in direct costs at that time.

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