Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Chickens.

Israel has reported an outbreak of the H5N8 bird flu at the Hefzi-Bah farm, according to the OIE international animal health body.

The virus is highly contagious.

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According to OIE, it is likely the outbreak resulted from contact with wild birds migrating from Europe. Israel is located at the apex of three continents and is a migration corridor through which more than a million birds travel from Europe to Africa each autumn and spring.

“The migration is ongoing and this virus strain probably arrived from Europe with migrating birds,” the OIE said.

Israeli officials said that 1,500 of the 34,500 birds were destroyed on the farm.

The H5N8 flu was found last week among ducks in a village on Lake Constance in Switzerland, and also among waterfowl on the Austrian side of the lake.

“Though the virus has not been known to threaten human health, it can devastate poultry farms,” the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported. Two weeks ago, 9,000 turkeys in Hungary also died from H5N8.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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