Avian flu: France on the front line

Thursday, November 10, the government placed France in high risk, faced with the multiplication of foci of the bird flu virus. All poultry have been confined and already close to 770,000 animals were slaughtered in an attempt to contain epizootic (epidemic in animals). But why is France if affected by this virus?

Common trajectories of migratory birds

The epidemiological origin lies in more than natural factors. At this time of year, many Migrator birds descend towards Africa and other aerial paths are taken by these different species of birds in the european skyincreasing the risk of spreading the virus carried.

“We are facing a “viral mosaic” in Europe: this virus has an extremely high potential for evolution. In addition, it evolves mainly in wild birds that move from one continent to another, which are very difficult to accessible for medicine and research”, explains Jean-Luc Guérin, professor of avian pathology at the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, and laboratory director at Inrae.

However, a new concern was born this summer. French farms were affected by the virus in the middle of summer, a phenomenon which is totally new in relation to this virus. The classic pattern known in recent years in the face of this virus is no longer relevant. For the virologist, it is a “additional problem”.
Currently, there are more than 55 outbreaks on farms and 42 outbreaks of captive ornamental birds which have been detected since August 1, mainly in Brittany and the Pays de la Loire.

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