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Russia Reports First Cases of H5N8 Bird Flu in Humans

Russia said it found the world’s first cases of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza in humans though the virus isn’t yet spreading between people.

Authorities have sent information on the seven cases detected in workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia to the World Health Organization, Anna Popova, the country’s public-health chief, said in televised comments on Saturday.

“It is not transmitted from person to person. But only time will tell how soon future mutations will allow it to overcome this barrier,” she said. The discovery of this strain now “gives us all, the whole world, time to prepare for possible mutations and the possibility to react in a timely way and develop test systems and vaccines.”

The affected workers at the poultry farm, where an outbreak among birds was reported in December, had mild cases and have recovered, Popova said.

The swift identification of the strain means work can start on development of testing to detect new infections and on potential vaccines, Rinat Maksyutov, head of the Vektor research center, which made the finding, told state television.

In November, Vektor reported that a new H5N8 flu strain was circulating in 15 Russia regions among poultry and wild birds, but was not considered dangerous to humans, the Interfax news service reported.

In 2012, health officials investigated a strain of bird flu that killed hundreds of wild ducks in southern Russia’s Krasnodar region for potential risks to humans.

More than 2 million ducks and other poultry were slaughtered in France as of the end of January due to outbreaks of avian flu or as a preventative measure, the country’s agriculture ministry reported.

There have been 862 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with the H5N1 strain of avian flu including 455 deaths since 2003 in 17 countries, the WHO said in a Dec. 9 report. Six of 14 cases of H5N6 avian flu in humans reported since 2014 were fatal, the WHO said in a post dated Nov. 2016.

“Though human infections with A(H5) viruses are rare and generally occur in individuals exposed to sick or dead infected birds (or their environments), they can lead to severe illness or death in humans,” the WHO said on its website.

Courtesy of bnnbloomberg.ca

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Bird Flu Resurfaces in Nigeria

Bird Flu

The outbreak occurred in two backyard poultry farms of multiple species, ostriches, geese, turkeys, layers, and peacocks in Kano state.

Avian Influenza, a highly contagious viral infection of birds, has resurfaced in Nigeria, the Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, Olaniran Alabi, has revealed.

Mr Alabi disclosed this in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

Avian Influenza, also known as bird flu, causes up to 100 per cent mortality in domestic chickens or turkeys.

The disease is caused by a virus that belongs to the family Orthomyxoviridae.

It is mainly found in birds but under certain circumstances, infections can also occur in humans but the risk of transmission is considered low.

The transmission arises through direct or indirect contact between infected and susceptible birds due to the inhalation of the infected droplets released through saliva, faeces, and nasal secretions from infected birds.

Birds can also be infected through contact with a surface that is contaminated with virus from infected birds.

The infected birds develop symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, severe breathing problems, pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

In recent years, there have been reported cases of avian influenza in the country.

In February 2006, Nigeria became the first African country to record the deadly strain of avian influenza outbreak.

Also, the country was the first to report human cases of avian influenza in West Africa, a year after the first outbreak in poultry farms.

The only human case of avian influenza in Nigeria was detected in Lagos state in January 2007 and was officially reported in February of the same year, according to Lagos State Ministry of Health.

In January 2015, the resurgence of avian influenza was reported and confirmed on a commercial farm and in live bird markets in Kano and Lagos States, according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).

As of January 2015, a total of 140,390 birds were associated with avian influenza with 22,573 (16 per cent) mortality recorded.

Since the resurgence of the virus reported in 2015, the viruses have circulated in the country and reported in 25 states out of the 36 and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This has led to the death of an estimated 332, 488 birds so far, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

In January 2019, an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza was reported to have affected five to three weeks old layers in a backyard poultry farm in Bauchi state.

After confirmation of the virus, the epidemic spread to Plateau State where six outbreaks were confirmed in two local government areas of the state.

Again in December 2019, the disease occurred in a commercial farm in Bauchi, sick birds from the affected farm were dispatched in live bird markets but the disease was not reported to the state veterinary, according to FAO.

According to the new statement, after two years of no reported outbreak in the country, highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected again in the country.

The statement reads, “FMARD received reports of confirmed cases of bird flu from the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVIR), Vom on January 29, 2021.

“The outbreak occurred in two backyard poultry farms of multiple species, ostriches, geese, turkeys, layers, and peacocks in Kano state.

“Additionally, within a space of one week, outbreaks have been confirmed in two commercial farms in the state and another in Jos, Plateau state.

“This indicates that the disease is rapidly spreading to other states,” the statement said.

FMARD surged all the parties in the poultry industry the need to curtail further spread in the country.

It said, Iin view of the devastating nature of the disease to the poultry industry with serious socio-economic impact on the livelihood of farmers and other poultry value chain operators, there is need to put in place proactive measures to curtail further spread of the disease.

In the statement, the ministry listed the measures to curtail the spread of the disease in all the states including FCT.

“Consequently, the following are recommended for implementation in all states of the federation including the FCT.

“Full activation of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) emergency preparedness plan (EPP) in the States.

“Enforcement of movement control of poultry and poultry products from affected to non-affected states.

“Sensitisation of poultry farmers and other value chain operators on basic biosecurity and hygiene measures for prevention and control of the disease.

“Separation of live bird markets (LBMs) for poultry from the LBMs for domestic fowls and other bird species such as duck, captive wild water birds etc and also sustained and vigorous disinfection of Live bird market in the states,” the statement said.

In the statement, Mr Alabi urged all the state directors and FCT to be on the alert with intensified bio-security measures to avert the spread of the deadly disease.

“While reiterating the need to be on red alert, I look forward to your utmost cooperation and collaboration in the fight of this deadly disease,” Mr Alabi said in the statement.

Courtesy of allafrica.com

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Bird Flu: 10,500 birds culled in Balod, India

Bird Flu

A total of 10,500 poultry birds were culled in Chhattisgarh’s Balod district on Saturday following the confirmation of bird flu.

Chhattisgarh is the 11th state where avian influenza has been confirmed.

As a part of preventative action, the department eliminated 10,500 poultry birds in Gidhali, said K.K. Dhruv, Additional Director, Directorate of Veterinary Sciences.

To a query about cases of bird flu reported in other districts, he said by Saturday his department had not received reports of any further spread of the avian influenza. But if samples confirmed the infection, further action will be taken, Dhruv said.

Meanwhile, after the bird flu was confirmed, movement of poultry birds in the contaminated zone was banned at Gidhali and steps to curb human movement in the contaminated zone were implemented.

A 10-km range in Gidhali was notified as an area under observation, Dhruv said.

Courtesy of dailypioneer.com

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60,000 chickens infected with bird flu in Salahudin province, Iraq

Bird Flu

Governor of Salahudin province in Iraq said Friday that bird flu was detected in the city of Samarra, while the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that all protective measures were taken to contain the spread of the virus.

“The laboratory tests proved that poultry in Samarra, some 120 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, was infected with bird flu,” Ammar Khalil, governor of the province, said in a statement.

Khalil said that about 60,000 chickens were infected with bird flu in the city, calling on poultry owners and citizens in Samarra to be on the highest alert to confront the virus, according to the statement.

The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture said in a separate statement that it had taken all protective measures to prevent the spread of the detected H5N8 strain of avian influenza virus to other poultry fields in Salahudin province.

It said that after the discovery of the infection in two poultry fields in Samarra, the ministry’s Veterinary Department held a meeting, and an emergency plan was approved to control the disease.

The ministry pointed out that all the chickens in the fields infected with the virus were culled, and the fields’ halls were sanitized, in addition to blocking and scanning 3 km of areas surrounding the fields.

Courtesy of xinhuanet.com

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First bird flu death at zoo in Delhi, India

Bird Flu

After the death, sanitisation and surveillance drills have intensified at the zoo to stop further spread of the avian influenza virus.

A brown fish owl kept in captivity at the Delhi zoo died earlier this week and tested positive for bird flu on Friday, director of the National Zoological Park (NZP) Ramesh Pandey said.

Sanitisation and surveillance drills have been intensified at the zoo and preventive measures are being taken to stop further spread of the avian influenza virus, Pandey said.

“The NZP witnessed death of a brown fish owl in its captivity and, therefore, the cloacal, tracheal and ocular swabs of the bird was sent to the animal husbandry department… which has been found positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus,” he added.

The samples were tested at the Bhopal-based ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Pandey said.

The owl had died following a serological survey that was carried out by a team of officials from the zoo and Delhi’s animal husbandry department on January 11.

“Faecal droppings of free ranging birds and water samples of ponds in NZP were collected from different locations and sent for serological examination related to avian influenza,” Pandey said.

The director said the zoo houses captive and free ranging birds, including local migratory waterfowls and waders.

He said the NZP was following avian influenza-related protocol and guidelines issued by the Central Zoo Authority, the environment ministry and animal husbandry department, which have now been intensified.

“Birds in captivity have been isolated and are under consistent monitoring and care for their behaviour and health. Spray of lime, Virkon-S & Sodium hypochlorite, and foot bath of potassium permanganate, are being done on regular intervals every day,” Pandey said.

“Chicken feed to raptors and entry of vehicles inside the zoo had already been stopped, which is being further reinforced and intensified. Movement of staff and workers in the zoo is also being restricted and regulated keeping in view the virus threats. The NZP is already closed due to Covid-19 and is not open to the public,” he added.

Courtesy of indianexpress.com

https://tinyurl.com/3tw3p44b

Bird flu: 905 birds found dead in Maharashtra, India: tests underway

Bird Flu

As many as 905 birds including 753 poultry birds were found dead in Maharashtra in a 12-hour period and samples have been sent to the labs to check if any of them carried the avian influenza virus, an official said.

Since January 8, 3,949 birds have been found dead in the state, said an official of the Animal Husbandry Department on Friday.

“A total of 905 birds were found dead in 12 hours ending 9.30 pm on Thursday. As many as 753 were poultry birds. The rest were crows, herons, sparrows, parrots, etc. Samples have been sent for bird flu tests,” he said.

Since the first cases of bird flu infection were reported in the state, 14,507 birds have been culled, he said.

To avoid the spread of infection, carcasses are put in a gunny sack and buried in a ditch lined with a layer of lime.

Courtesy of newindianexpress.com

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China reports 1st human H5N6 avian influenza, bird flu case of 2021

H5N6 Alert

One new case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus was reported in China during the first week of the 2021.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the case was a 51-year-old male farmer from Yongchuan, Chongqing, China who had exposure to domestic poultry prior to the onset of illness. He developed symptoms on 18 December 2020, was admitted to hospital on 28 December for severe pneumonia and was reportedly in critical condition at time of report.

In 2020 there were two cases reported from China , one in Jiangsu Province and one in Hunan province, and this case is the first case reported from China in 2021.

To date, a total of 27 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with influenza A(H5N6) virus have been reported to WHO from China since 2014.

Courtesy of outbreaknewstoday.com

https://tinyurl.com/13g5wgqd

1,800 migratory birds found dead due to bird flu – avian influenza in Himachal Pradesh, India

Bird Flu

Bird flu virus was detected in around 50 crows whose carcasses were found in Indore in Madhya Pradesh last week, prompting authorities to issue an alert.

SAMPLES OF dead migratory water birds found at the Pong Dam Lake in Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for avian influenza or bird flu.

RT-PCR testing of samples of five dead Bar-Headed geese conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal found all birds positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to the report.

Around 1,800 migratory birds, most of them Bar-Headed Geese, have been found dead in the lake sanctuary so far.

“The laboratory at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly had detected avian influenza in the samples of dead birds, according to information conveyed to us by the Centre Monday. We were awaiting confirmation by NIHSAD as it is the nodal body for detecting this disease,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Archana Sharma. She added that the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar has also suspected avian influenza in the bird samples.

Dr VK Gupta, joint director of the Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis (CADRAD) at IVRI Bareilly, where the preliminary testing was conducted, said the samples had tested positive for antigens associated with influenza. The samples were then sent to the laboratory in Bhopal for a confirmatory test and to identify the type and strain of the virus, he added.

Director of animal husbandry Dr Ajmer Dogra said that the department has formed a rapid response team to deal with the suspected epizootic.

Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well, although human-to-human transmission is unusual, according to the World Health Organisation.

Birds in large numbers have been dying mysteriously across the country in recent days. In neighbouring Haryana, around a lakh poultry birds are reported to have died in Barwala in the last few days, while in Rajasthan, the death of a number of crows in Jhalawar has been linked to avian influenza. Samples of some ducks in Kerala have also reportedly tested positive for the bird flu.

In Himachal’s Pong Lake wildlife sanctuary, wildlife staff first reported the sudden death of four Bar-Headed Geese and one Common Teal in Fatehpur area last Monday. The next day, over 400 migratory waterfowl were found dead in Majhar, Bathari, Sihal, Jagnoli, Chatta, Dhameta and Kuthera areas in the wildlife ranges of Dhameta and Nagrota. Subsequently, hundreds more birds were found dead each day, totaling 1,773 till Sunday, Sharma said.

She said more than 90 per cent of the dead birds were Bar-Headed Geese, the most common migratory species at the lake who arrive here from Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and other regions in winters after crossing the Himalayan ranges. There are 8-9 other bird species whose members have been found dead. Last year, more than one lakh migratory birds had camped at the lake by late January and this year, more than 50,000 have arrived so far.

The dead birds are being disposed off as per bird-flu protocol, officials said, adding that no such deaths have been reported so far from other water bodies in the state.

Kangra DC bans slaughter, sale, purchase, export of poultry, birds, fish

The Pong reservoir and and an area of radius one kilometre around its periphery has been declared an alert zone, in which no human and domestic livestock activities are now allowed and the movement of tourists as well as local residents has been banned, according to an order issued by Kangra DC Rakesh Prajapati under the Disaster Management Act. The next 9 km after the alert zone comprise a surveillance zone, and all tourism activity in the reservoir area has been suspended.

The DC has also prohibited slaughtering, sale, purchase and export of any poultry, birds, fish of any breed and their related products including eggs, meat, chicken etc. in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora subdivisions of the district. He said that shops selling these products will also remain closed in these subdivisions.

Wildlife, veterinary and animal husbandry staff across the state have been put on alert and asked to immediately report the death of any bird or animal. The Gopalpur zoo in Kangra, which is situated near the Pong Lake, has been put on high alert.

Courtesy of indianexpress.com

https://tinyurl.com/y38ketxq

18,000 chickens killed due to bird flu – avian influenza in Skane, Sweden

Bird Flu

The avian influenza virus H5N8 has been found at a large plant in Skåne, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the National Veterinary Institute, SVA, have been found. On Tuesday, the plant’s 18,000 animals will begin.

SVA is currently investigating the cause of infection. Most likely, the virus has come indirectly, via wild birds.

“We know that the infection is high in mainly aquatic wild birds, which means that the risk is great in coastal areas and near lakes,” Malin Grant, epidemiologist at SVA told ATL and continues:

“Geese, for example, can secrete large amounts of viruses and in the prevailing weather conditions, when it is cold and lack of sunlight, it can survive for quite some time.

She explains that it is often not possible to determine exactly how the virus has entered the facility.

“There are many different pathways such as staff getting it on or it comes on equipment, indirectly via rodents or wild birds, or ventilation ducts.

Two buildings on the facility were found to be affected by the virus. 18 000 poultry will therefore need to be killed and the buildings cleaned up. This work will begin on Tuesday. A decision on a lockdown has been made by the Swedish Board of Agriculture with a protection zone of three kilometres around the holding in question, and a monitoring zone with a radius of ten kilometres.

“This means that animals or animal products can not be moved without permission in the area. The same is true in both zones and permits are needed to move and transport poultry,” says Katharina Gielen, deputy head of the animal department at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

In addition, domestic birds should be kept indoors, except in the case of special derogations.

“But then you have to do everything to protect them even outdoors, such as having a roof over feed and water, having them fenced and on reduced surface so that they don’t move completely freely,” says Katharina Gielen.

She tells us that they have been on site to see what large facilities are within the zones and been in contact with them to tell them the situation and get an overview of the farms.

“When bird flu is detected, we are obliged to do so, just as pet owners are obliged to report episotomy in the event of episothey.

It is important to have rapid control in the affected part, otherwise there is a risk of further spread. Malin Grant says that the farm in question acted early and that it is a facility with high biosecurity, which happened to be affected.

“The virus is extremely contagious.

She says there are several issues that farmers can think through around their own herd to try to reduce the risk of infection and spread of the virus:

“What are the possible routes into my animals? What about staff routines, protective equipment, hand washing, transport, visitors? If you can keep wild birds away from the outdoor environment near the farm, it is an advantage, by eliminating things that attract them.

This could include, for example, ensuring that there are no feed spills or bodies of water on the farm.

On November 6, infection of the virus occurred within a Turkey herd in Skåne. Katharina Gielen says that they recently lifted the restrictions and that the plant has been declared free of infection.

How long it takes for an infected farm to be released varies.

“It all depends on the size of the crew and that everything runs on as expected. The animals must first be killed, then buildings are to be cleaned up and so it should be empty for a certain period.

After the outbreak on the turkey herd, protection level 2has applied throughout Sweden , which means that domestic poultry are not allowed to stay outdoors except in special exceptions. There are no plans to lift the restrictions at this time.

“It is based on international surveillance and reports that viruses are currently circulating among wild birds, in several countries in Europe. The danger is certainly not over yet,” says Katharina Gielen.

“We keep our fingers crossed that no more people will be affected. This can mean significant financial losses and consequences for the producers affected. But also great animal suffering,” says Malin Grant.

Courtesy of atl.nu

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2 more suspected cases of highly pathogenic bird flu at a duck farm in Yeongam, South Korea

Bird Flu

South Korea’s agricultural ministry said Friday it has confirmed the country’s 48th case of highly pathogenic bird flu from a poultry farm, with the spread of the disease among wild birds further straining the country’s antivirus fight.

The latest case of the malign HN58 strain of bird flu came from a duck farm in Yeongam, 384 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

South Korea issued a standstill order on all poultry farms in the region for seven days.

Authorities have been looking into a separate case from Muan, 385 kilometers south of Seoul, as well. Both places are in South Jeolla Province.

Later in the day, another suspected case was reported from an egg farm in Gimpo, west of Seoul. Test results will come out in one to three days, officials said.

The first local infection from farms was found in late November after a hiatus of nearly three years.

By region, Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul accounted for 13, while South Jeolla Provinces took up 11.

The country has completed culling of 14.9 million poultry as of Friday. Birds within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms are destroyed.

The number of infections from wild birds also continued to pile up, sparking further concerns over the further spread of the virus here.

Authorities have identified 60 cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza cases from wild birds since October. The caseload is anticipated to continue grow down the road as more migratory birds are expected to fly into South Korea over the winter.

Courtesy of koreaherald.com

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