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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 20 Article 1
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 20, 15 May 2003

Citation style for this article: Editorial team. Avian influenza spreads to Germany. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(20):pii=2229. Available online:

Avian influenza spreads to Germany

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office.

Cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H7 in birds have been confirmed in Schwalmtal, a village near the Dutch border in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (1). The section of virus sequenced corresponds to that of the virus causing the outbreak in the Netherlands. Avian cases in this outbreak have so far been reported from the Netherlands (2), Belgium (3), and Germany (figure). Human cases reported have been in the Netherlands and Belgium (2, 3, 4).

Figure: Confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany

The European Commission adopted a decision on 12 May to reinforce the control measures already put in place by the German authorities (5). The measures include a standstill for the transport of live poultry and hatching eggs in North Rhine-Westphalia and a prohibition on dispatching any live poultry or hatching eggs from this state.

The situation will be reviewed at the meeting of the standing committee on the food chain and animal health scheduled for 15 May. All requirements have been met in Germany to ensure that any suspect cases can be examined quickly in a federal state laboratory (6).

  1. Avian influenza - Germany: confirmed, OIE. In: ProMED-mail [online]. Boston US: International Society for Infectious Diseases, report no. 20030513.1185, 13 May 2003. (
  2. Eurosurveillance Weekly. Human infected with highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) during outbreak of avian flu in poultry farms in Holland. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2003; 7: 030313. (
  3. Eurosurveillance Weekly. Avian influenza human death reported in the Netherlands. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2003; 7: 030424. (
  4. Hanquet G. Surveillance for avian influenza in humans. News on outbreak and infectious diseases 2003; 6 May 2003 (
  5. European Commission. Commission adopts control measures to contain possible avian influenza outbreak in Germany. Press release IP/03/666, 12 May 2003. (|0|RAPID&lg=EN;)
  6. Bundesforschungsanstalt für Viruskrankheiten der Tiere (Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals). Presseinformation der Bundesforschungsanstalt für Viruskrankheiten der Tiere zur Geflügelpest. Press release, 9 May 2003 (

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