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Bird flu detected at Victorian egg farm




Testing is underway to determine if a strain of avian flu detected in a Victorian egg farm is the deadly new strain causing mass bird deaths around the world.


Bird flu has been detected at a Victorian egg farm, plunging it into lockdown as authorities urgently investigate the strain.


Agriculture Victoria on Wednesday confirmed the presence of avian influenza after a number of poultry deaths at an egg farm near Meredith, about 40km northwest of Geelong.


The property has been placed into quarantine and Agriculture Victoria staff have arrived to support the business and investigate further.


Samples have been sent to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness at Geelong to determine the strain of the disease, Agriculture Victoria said.


Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral infection which can cause severe symptoms and sudden death in domestic poultry, wiping out entire populations.


A deadly strain, HPAI clade 2.3.4.4b, has been spreading globally, causing widespread outbreaks in bird populations and extensive deaths.


It has not yet been detected in Australia, the Department of Agriculture said.


The virus has also spread to mammals, including humans.


Infected people have observed mild symptoms or have been asymptomatic but some have experienced severe illness.

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