Avian Flu Outbreak Hits Europe's Largest Poultry Producers

Reuters reports Wednesday that bird flu, also called avian influenza, has been detected in Europe's largest poultry producers, located in eastern Poland. 

Reuters, citing local media reports, said up to 40,000 turkeys could be culled in the coming days to prevent a further outbreak. 

This is the first outbreak of the bird flu since France culled 800,000 birds to prevent the spread of H5N8 in 2017. 

Andrzej Danielak, president of the Polish Association of Breeders and Poultry Producers, said three large scale farms, in close proximity of each other, have detected an outbreak of the deadly virus -- puts at least 350,000 turkeys at risk. 

"Veterinary services are implementing virus eradication procedures in this situation," said government officials in Lubartowski county, a region in eastern Poland, at a Tuesday press conference outlining the virus was a subtype of H5N8 bird flu that can spread to people. 

Officials warned that if residents developed common "flu-like" symptoms: fever, chills, headache, coughing, and weakness -- seek immediate medical attention. 

The virus cannot kill people, but it's very deadly to turkeys -- it can kill them in a matter of hours. 

Local broadcaster Polsat said, "to prevent the virus from spreading, the police blocked roads in the vicinity of infected farms. Within a radius of three kilometers, it can be up to 350 thousand pieces of poultry." 

More developments are expected in the days ahead of how many turkeys will be culled.