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We report a widespread Usutu virus outbreak in birds in the Netherlands. Viral presence had been detected through targeted surveillance as early as April 2016 and increased mortality in common blackbirds and captive great grey owls was noticed from August 2016 onwards. Usutu virus infection was confirmed by post-mortem examination and RT-PCR. Extensive Usutu virus activity in the Netherlands in 2016 underlines the need to monitor mosquito activity and mosquito-borne infections in 2017 and beyond.


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