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55,000 hens killed due to bird flu in Bulgaria

Bulgarian veterinary authorities will cull 55,000 hens in the northern town of Slavyianovo after a bird flu outbreak was confirmed at a industrial farm there, the fourth since February 3, the food safety agency said late on Monday.

The agency said the four farms have been hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza type A, but did not disclose the strain of the disease.

The predominant strain in Europe at present is H5N8.

Some 160,000 ducks and 99,000 have been culled at three farms in Slavyianovo, some 190 km northeast of Sofia, this month as authorities try to contain the spread of the disease.

Courtesy of news.trust.org

https://tinyurl.com/rppjsw47

Avian influenza A(H5N8) infects humans in Russian Federation

H5N8 Virus Alert

Russian authorities have reported 7 poultry farm workers aged 29 to 60 years infected with the A(H5N8) strain of avian influenza, also known as bird flu. This is the first reported detection of this strain of avian influenza in humans. The human infections occurred on a poultry farm in Astrakhan, Russian Federation, and were reported to WHO by Russian health officials via channels of the International Health Regulations (2005).

Concerns were raised when 101 000 out of 900 000 egg-laying hens on the farm died in early December 2020. An investigation by Russian veterinary public-health authorities detected avian influenza A(H5N8), which was then confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Reference Laboratory and the Federal Centre for Animal Health in the city of Vladimir, Russian Federation.

Follow-up tests on the 7 workers from the poultry farm suggested recent infection with the virus, though they showed no symptoms. There was no clinical evidence of onward transmission to families or close associates of the workers. Further information on serology among contacts of the positive cases is required to fully assess the risk.

Dr Richard Pebody, who leads the High Threat Pathogen Team at WHO/Europe, was quick to reassure: “The people who were reported to be infected did not develop symptoms and they were all exposed to an infected poultry flock in the course of their work. The infection does not appear to have come from other human beings – which is good news.”

Dr Pebody added, “The poultry flock has been culled and no further infections in humans have been found. It is also encouraging that this incident shows the system that alerts local and international authorities is working. However, this underlines the ongoing importance of global surveillance in the face of constantly evolving influenza viruses. Changes to the influenza virus must be closely monitored in animals and humans alike; this is a good example of the One Health approach, recognizing that human and animal health are intertwined and depend on each other.”

Based on available information, the risk of human-to-human transmission remains low and WHO recommendations have not changed as a result of the incident. When avian influenza is circulating in an area, farms and contact with live animals, for example in markets, should be avoided. Precautions must be taken by those working with poultry.

WHO is now following up with public health authorities in the Russian Federation and other relevant organizations. Although this strain of influenza has not previously been known to affect humans, it has been detected in farmed and wild birds in countries across the European Region, including Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and now the Russian Federation.

Courtesy of euro.who.int

https://tinyurl.com/tf6ndd7v

13,000 birds killed due to Bird Flu in Cheshire, England, UK

Bird Flu

Thirteen thousand birds are to be culled at farm in Cheshire after avian flu was confirmed there.

The H5N8 strain of bird flu was detected at a broiler breeders premises in Frodsham, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

It said it was not related to the H5N2 strain found at a small farm near Deal in Kent earlier.

Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to public health was “very low”.

All 13,000 birds at the farm, which produces hatching eggs, will be culled, said Defra.

Further testing is under way to determine if it is a highly pathogenic strain and whether it is related to the virus currently circulating in Europe.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss, said: “Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

“This includes 3km and 10km temporary control zones around the infected site.

“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it.”

Dr Gavin Dabrera from PHE said: “There have never been any confirmed cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to public health is considered very low.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “On the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

“Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”

Courtesy of BBC News

https://tinyurl.com/y5ecko76

20,000 hens dead due to ‘mystery illness’ possibly bird flu in Brahmagiri, India

Bird Flu

In a precautionary measure after a number of blood samples of chicken found positive with bird flu virus in at least three villages under Brahamagiri block, the district administration today ordered for bird culling and ban on poultry sell in the area.

Informing on the steps, Puri Collector Jyoti Prakash Das said a decision has been taken to start bird culling within the radius of 1 kilometre from the affected area. The culling will start from tomorrow, he added.

Apart from bird culling, the selling of poultry products within a radius of 10 kilometres from the affected areas has been banned along with a stoppage in supply of eggs for Mid-Day Meals provided in schools.

Notably, bird flu fear loomed large in Bhrahmagiri block in past three days after over 20,000 hens died in a mysterious disease. While blood samples of the birds were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, a number of those were taken from Patharganj, Budhibar and Masasahi villages were found positive with H5N1 viruses.

Courtesy of kalingatv.com

https://tinyurl.com/yb4suhfo

39,000 hens killed due to bird flu in Bogdanitsa, Bulgaria

Bird Flu

Bird flu has been registered in a farm in the village of Bogdanitsa, Sadovo municipality, regional food safety director Dr. Kamen Yankov told Focus Radio. The case was confirmed yesterday. 39,000 laying hens will be culled and accordingly buried to prevent any spread of the disease. The farm will be disinfected and the owners – compensated. The 3-km protection area includes the villages of Bogdanitsa, Ahmatovo and Seltsi. There is also a 10-km observation area. Restrictions on poultry trade are in place in those areas.

Courtesy of focus-fen.net

https://tinyurl.com/yb6nlwme

43,000 hens killed due to bird flu in Trilistnik, Bulgaria

Bird Flu

The latest bird flu case affects 43,000 laying hens in a farm in the village of Trilistnik, regional food safety director Kamen Yankov told Focus Radio. Laboratory tests have confirmed an outbreak of the disease, identified as a primary outbreak. The measures taken to control and eradicate the disease include humane killing of all birds in the affected farm, disinfection and delineation of a 3-km protection area and a 10-km observation area around the site.

Courtesy of novinite.com

https://tinyurl.com/yd2aq3ud

2 MILLION birds dead from bird flu, egg shortage looms in Cape Town, South Africa

“The emotional impact for us as a family business has been severe,” explains Pier Passerini.
 
As the managing director of Windmeul Eggs, Passerini is in the unenviable position of steering a 40-year-old family business through the catastrophic impacts of the avian influenza outbreak.
 
Located near Wellington, the business is among several in the Western Cape that have been forced to cull hundreds of thousands of hens in an effort to halt the spread of the deadly H5N8 virus, although the birds often die faster than they can kill them.
 
He says the industry is in complete shock.
 
“Most of us, when we speak to each other, are at a loss for words. You know it’s something that was always in the back of your mind as a poultry farmer; you’ve read about in other countries… it’s a nightmare that just happened to become reality…”
 
The H5N8 strain, which was first detected on 22 June, quickly spread and, at last count, was detected at 36 locations across the province.
 
Laying farms have been worst affected, with the Western Cape accounting for the majority of cases.
 
“The poultry industry in the Western Cape is quite concentrated,” explains State Veterinarian Dr Lesley van Helden.
 
“It’s concentrated close to Cape Town, which is obviously where the market for poultry is mainly. And the problem with this is a lot of the farms are within a few kilometres of each other, so it’s much easier for a virus to spread between the farms than if the farms were further apart,” Van Helden says.
 
The result has been the disposal of birds in their millions, and the composting of the carcasses to try and prevent contagion.
 
Passerini says Windmeul has now lost 70% of its flock to the outbreak, and that the trauma of witnessing death on this scale has affected his whole family and his employees.
 
“To see tons and tons of birds being disposed of on a daily basis is difficult; it’s difficult for our staff that’s been with us for many years; it’s difficult for us as a family – it’s not easy to see.”
 
The consequences are far reaching. The Western Cape government estimates the immediate industry losses to be R800m, but stated on Monday that the long term financial impact is likely to be around R4bn.
 
According to Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde, the informal economy has been most affected thus far, with the cull bird market in “big trouble”.
 
“Now we’ll start to actually see it in the formal economy, on the shelves in your retailers,” he warned.
 
Of great concern to the provincial government is how this will impact poor households who rely on chicken meat and eggs as their main source of affordable protein.
 
A light at the end of the tunnel?
 
While farmers are trying to convince state officials to give permission for vaccinations, the Western Cape government is hoping the change in seasons will help stem the spread of the virus.
 
 “One of the other areas that also helps us is that it’s getting warmer. And you know with humans and flu – we are more susceptible to flu in winter time. As we move to summer, we are less susceptible to flu and the same thing obviously with Avian Influenza…” Winde said.
 
But for farmers busy floundering in the wake of the outbreak, simply waiting for summer to take care of the problem may not feel like an appropriate response
Courtesy of news24.com

50,000 hens killed due to bird flu in Nykoping, Sweden

On the affected farm outside Nyköping, Hemvärnet will assist in the management of the hens that are killed, commissioned by the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
 
The hens affected by bird flu in Nyköping are now killing and 20 people from home shelter are in place in protective equipment to serve in the removal of the 50 000 chickens.
 
“We will load bags and prepare for transport,” says Pontus Stenberg from Hemvärnet to P4 Sörmland.
 
The assignment will last for two days.
Courtesy of sverigesradio.se

22,000 hens killed due to bird flu in Kentucky, USA

Bird flu has now been confirmed in three Southern states, but officials say the nation’s poultry supply isn’t at risk.
 
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it’s temporarily banning the transportation of poultry after a form of the disease was found in a commercial flock of 22,000 hens in western Kentucky. The state says the farm was placed under quarantine and the birds were killed.
 
The announcement came as the state of Alabama confirmed the presence of the same form of bird flu in two flocks there. Another form of the poultry illness was previously detected in Tennessee.
 
Officials say none of the infected birds have entered the food chain. They say temporary measures limiting the movement of birds should help prevent the spread of the disease.
Courtesy of wkyt.com

6,200 hens killed due to bird flu in Koshi, Nepal

Nepal has reported firmed an outbreak of severe H5N8 bird flu on a poultry farm in the Koshi region, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Monday, citing a report from the Nepalese authorities.
 
The virus killed 3,650 of the 6,200 hens exposed, with the remaining animals culled, the Paris-based OIE said.
 
Nepal had already reported last month an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu among backyard chickens and ducks.
Courtesy of reuters.com