PARIS – Several outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza in Poland were recently examined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

According to reports by Poland’s chief veterinary officer and Reuters, 650,000 birds at five poultry farms were subject to infection with the strain. 

OIE previously stated in late September that Poland was free of the H5N1. Poland is the largest poultry producer on the continent.

More European countries are bracing for a battle with avian influenza over the winter.

More instances of the avian flu were reported in the Netherlands in the last week at various poultry farms. Investigators are still determining the strain of flu. The Dutch Food and Consumer Production Safety Authority carried out culling operations that impacted tens of thousands of birds.

Denmark has also seen some birds test positive for avian flu in the last week. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration saw the first outbreak among a flock of 28,000 turkeys, which were eventually culled.  

On Nov. 5, the French Ministry of Agriculture announced that the country is at a “high risk” point for bird flu as it continues to spread.  

The French government stated that 130 cases or outbreaks of avian influenza have been detected in Europe since the beginning of August. In northeast France, three cases had been identified among backyard birds.

“Reinforced prevention measures will therefore be applied in order to protect poultry farms,” the French government said in its statement. “They are accompanied by a strengthening of crisis management mechanisms within the ministry in conjunction with the territorial services and professionals.”