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New Bird Flu Case Observed In Germany

Update Date: Nov 24, 2014 10:08 AM EST

For the first time, a worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed in a wild bird in northern Germany, according to agriculture ministry. 

The goose with the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was identified in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and was the first case of the virus outside of a farm setting in Europe, the ministry told AFP.

The ministry added that it had asked regional authorities to keep an "active watch" on wild birds - killing animals suspected of having the virus and conducting screening tests. 

HFN8 was earlier detected only in Asia, but it travelled with migrating birds and in the last few weeks has spread up in several European locations.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has taken more 400 lives in southeast Asia, since first appearing in 2003. 

Another strain of bird flu, H7N9, has claimed more than 170 lives since emerging in 2013.

The H7N7 strain of avian flu severely hit the Netherlands in 2003 with health authorities destroying some 30 million birds in an effort to quash an outbreak, the press release added. 

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