Halberstadt (dpa/sa) - A fish disease has been detected in rainbow trout in an aquaculture farm in the Harz district. The Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) virus has now also arrived in the Harz District, the district administration announced on Monday. The company is subject to the official ban until further notice, explained official veterinarian Rainer Miethig.
The virus probably got into the stocks in the Harz District through fish purchases from Denmark, Miethig continued. According to the State Office for Consumer Protection, an IHN outbreak was detected in a trout farm in Denmark in May last year after the country was considered IHN-free. As a result of the brisk trade with German companies, the virus had found its way to Germany.
As a result, fish from several farms in parts of Saxony-Anhalt were tested positive for the virus last year. Previously, there had been no case since the last outbreak in 2013.
According to the district and state office, the pathogen mainly affects salmon and rainbow trout. Other fish species could also transmit the virus without becoming ill themselves. IHN is causing major economic damage in fish farms worldwide, and wild fish could also be affected. It is harmless to humans.
Especially with very young fish, high losses can occur. Adult fish can survive the infection and excrete new viruses as carriers.
If the animal disease is suspected, contact should be made immediately with the veterinary office, it said. All those who work with salmon fish, including amateur anglers, should take extra care and enhanced hygiene, Miethig said.