BRUSSELS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Bird flu found on a central Dutch poultry farm
this month is a mild form of the H7N7 strain of the virus, the Dutch agriculture
ministry announced on Wednesday.
According to Dutch media, the virus is a "low pathogenic variety" which is
not as dangerous as the strain that hit the country in 2003.
In 2003, the Netherlands was hit hard by an epidemic of the H7N7 strain
which led to the cull of 25 million birds, about one quarter of the country's
poultry population at the time. One veterinarian died.
Bird flu viruses are divided into subtypes and named on the basis of two
proteins on the surface of the virus: hemagglutinin (H)and neuraminidase (N).
The H5N1 bird flu virus is potentially lethal to humans. H7 infection in
humans is rare, but can occur among people who have direct contact with infected
On August 1, the Netherlands reported that it had found traces of bird flu
during routine testing at a poultry farm in Voorthuizen in the central
Netherlands, but no sick animals have been found.
As a precautionary measure, 25,000 chickens were culled from Voorthuizen
and surrounding farms. Enditem