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Massive bird flu outbreak kills 5000 cranes; causes fear among people

Wednesday, December 29, 2021 • Tamil Comments

In what is apparently considered by authorities to be the deadliest wildlife disaster in Israel’s history, over 5000 cranes have been killed by a massive H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the country and the dead birds were discovered on Sunday at the Hula Nature Reserve in northern Israel.

According to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office, while there has been no case of human transmission so far, the PM and his national security adviser have already met with officials from the agriculture, environment and health ministries to discuss efforts to contain the H5N1 outbreak in attempts to prevent it from passing onto humans. Meanwhile, workers have quickly been removing the crane carcasses, due to the possibility that they might infect other wildlife.

Dafna Yurista, spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry, also reportedly claimed that half a million chicken in the area were slaughtered in order to control the spread of the disease. Yaron Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Hula Lake park, where the crane population is mainly based, has suggested that the cranes might have been infected by smaller birds that had contact with farms affected by outbreaks.

Another expert is of the belief that the flu appears to be the opposite of Covid-19. Yoav Motro, a specialist in vertebrates and locusts at Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture, reportedly said, “H5N1 is presenting like the opposite of COVID. Compared to COVID, the chances of (humans) catching this are very, very slight—but unlike COVID, the risks of dying from it if you do catch it are very high. It is a tragic ecological event. And we simply do not know how it will end, or where it will lead.”

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