Israel: 2,000 wild storks killed by bird flu in less than a week

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority officials said on Sunday that more than 2,000 wild storks have died in Israel from bird flu in a large nature reserve in the country’s north.

“So far 2,000 wild storks have died and an estimated 10,000 are infected,” Ohad Hatsofe, the authority’s avian ecologist, told AFP. “It is currently estimated that a fifth of the crane population in Israel has been affected by bird flu,” said Uri Nave, deputy director of the organization’s scientific department. There are cases identified every year in Israel, he said, “but this year it is more important”, he underlined, and the number of dead animals since Monday is “extraordinary”.

Since October and as of every year, more than 100,000 wild storks have arrived in Israel and most stop in the Hula Valley in the north of the country to rest before taking off in the air. About 40,000 remain in Israel, mostly in this valley, before resuming their route to breeding areas from March. Other outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza have been found in agricultural areas of northern Israel with chicken coops.

Israel’s agriculture ministry on Sunday called for a ban on marketing of eggs from these farms. He further said that he was taking measures to import eggs to meet the possible shortage.

While the risk of bird flu spreading to humans is very small, experts from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority remind experts, the H5N1-type virus strain can be dangerous if contracted from humans. “It is fatal for 36% to 50% of those infected,” says Ohad Hatsofe.

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More than 2,000 wild storks have died in Israel from bird flu in a large nature reserve in the country’s north, officials from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said on Sunday.
“So far 2,000 wild storks have died and an estimated 10,000 are infected,” Ohad Hatsofe, the authority’s avian ecologist, told AFP. “we…

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