An outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed in a backyard flock of laying hens in Jerusalem.

The infection was confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on March 24, after tests were conducted at the Central Veterinary Laboratory and the Kimron Veterinary Institute. Those tests proved positive for the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza.

OIE reported that 15 chickens died after contracting the virus, while an additional 25 birds were destroyed. The layers were estimated to be about 150 days old.


The birds in the flock are believed to have contracted the virus through humans, vehicles or feed, OIE stated.

The infected property has been disinfected. Other control measures taken include quarantine, zoning, movement control inside the country, control of wildlife reservoirs, dipping and spraying.

OIE will submit follow-up reports on the avian influenza status in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Autonomous Territories until it considers it resolved. Prior to the Jerusalem avian influenza outbreak, the Palestinian Autonomous Territories had its last highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in February, when a layer flock of 5,000 birds was infected. Of those 5,000 birds, 4,500 died as a result of contracting the virus, while the remaining 500 were destroyed.