Thus far, just two cases of the aggressive bird flu H5N8 have been recorded in Denmark – one in Copenhagen’s Christiania district and the other on the island of Møn – but the Danish Food and Veterinary Service (Fødevarestyrelsen) said that the outbreak is likely to be nationwide.
“We are quite certain that the bird flu has already spread to the entire country. It is likely only a question of time until we receive reports from the rest of the country,” agency spokesman Stig Mellergaard told local newspaper Skive Folkeblad.
The two confirmed Danish cases were found in the Tufted duck, a duck species that is very common in Denmark.
The Danish Food and Veterinary Service said that the bird flu is normally not spread to humans. German officials have said that it will still safe to eat as long as people follow the usual hygiene procedures such as thoroughly washing cutlery and keeping meat separately from other foodstuffs.
Mellergaard said his agency has seen how quickly confirmed reports of bird flu have spread through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland.
“This is very, very serious,” he said.
Due to the likelihood of a widespread outbreak, several bird exhibitions have been cancelled throughout Denmark.