France has reported its first outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus, a highly pathogenic virus. The virus has reportedly killed 22 chickens out of 32 that were kept in a family backyard at Biras in the Perigord region, according to Reuters.
An unnamed official said they have set up a 6.2 miles radius around the site, which includes several poultry farms.
Agriculture Minster Stephane Le Foll has insisted there is no risk to the general public. "This virus has no effect as far as consuming poultry meat or anything that comes from poultry products is concerned - I am thinking particularly about foie gras since we are approaching times of high consumption," Le Foll told reporters.
Officials in Vietnam have also detected the virus in poultry in that country. They said that 100 birds had died in Ha Tinh province in the north-central part of the country, according to World Organization for Animal Health report.
The H5N1 virus was first detected in humans in 1997 during an outbreak in Hong Kong. It then re-emerged in 2003 and 2004 and has infected million of poultry, several hundred humans and even caused some human deaths.
The US Government said that human infections usually occur in those who have had contact with sick or dead poultry that have the virus. They also report that 60 percent of people who contract the virus die from it.
Confirmed cases of H5N1 in humans have nearly tripled since last year when there were 52 reported cases. In 2015 so far there have been 143 cases reported to the World Health Organization.
This is the first reported case of H5N1 in the European Union since March, following outbreaks in Bulgaria and Romania.
France is the European Union's biggest agriculture producer, according to Reuters.