Israel Reports Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Strain in Northern Farm

Over 13,000 turkeys were slaughtered to contain the virus

File photo: A turkey rests on the grass at "Freedom Farm", which serves as a refuge for mostly disabled animals in Moshav Olesh, Israel, March 7, 2019.
Nir Elias/Reuters

Israel has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a turkey farm in the north of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from Israel's agriculture ministry. 

The virus infected 350 out of a flock of 13,500 turkeys in Ma'ale Gilboa, the report said. 

Some 200 birds died of the virus and the rest of the flock was slaughtered, it said. 

The contagious H5N8 strain has never been detected in humans, but cases have been reported in the U.K. in 2014 and in Germany a year ealier. Cases have also been reported in the U.S., South Korea, China and Japan.