The parks authority confirmed Sunday that a bird flu outbreak in Nothern Israel had reportedly killed more than 2,000 wild cranes on a reserve, an exceptionally high death count for the seasonal flu.
According to Ohad Hatsofe, an expert with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, another 10,000 people are reported to be sick in addition to the 2,000 who have died.
According to Uri Naveh, a senior scientist at the authority, the virus affects Israel every year, but this year’s spread is significantly greater than prior years.
The amount of dead cranes, according to Naveh, is extraordinary.
Since October, approximately 100,000 wild cranes have arrived in Israel, the majority of which have stopped in the Hula Valley, a crucial stopover on their migratory route to Africa.
It’s predicted that around 40,000 cranes remain in the area.
According to Israel’s agriculture ministry, the avian flu that is devastating the population, H5N1, has been spotted across several chickens in northern Israel.
Although H5N1 outbreaks in humans are unusual, they have occurred in the past.
Since 2003, H5N1 has affected over 450 people, mostly within Indonesia, Egypt, and Vietnam, according to the report by the World Health Organization.