Greek veterinary services on alert after detection of H5N8 virus in mute swan

Greece’s veterinary services are in increased alert to prevent the transmission of H5N8 avian influenza from wild birds to poultry, after the detection of the virus in a mute swan at the Evros Delta, in northeastern Greece, last December and suspected outbreaks in Bulgaria.

Tests on a mute swan found on Dec 14 near the Evros River delta showed the bird died of H5N8 avian flu, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

In a press release issued on Monday, the prefecture of Attica reminded Athenians that it is illegal to keep poultry in non-confined spaces or outdoors. “Poultry must be kept in confined spaces, with any openings covered by covers that will prevent any contact with wild birds,” the press release said.