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7 Million+ Birds Culled in Japan After Severe Bird Flu Outbreak

Japan has been hit by a major avian influenza outbreak, particularly in the west of the country. During the 2020/2021 season, since the first case confirmed in November 2020 at an egg-laying chicken farm in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, there have been a further 41 farms affected in 17 prefectures (as of February 2, 2021) with 7.1 million birds culled. This is a record high for a single season. Chicken farms have been most affected, including those for egg-laying birds and broilers for meat production, as well as those for raising chicks. On January 21, an outbreak was also confirmed at a farm producing duck meat in Chiba Prefecture.

A poultry farm where avian influenza was confirmed on February 2 was one of the largest in Ibaraki Prefecture and all 840,000 of its egg-laying hens were culled. This is the first time since 2006 that there has been an outbreak in Ibaraki.

According to livestock statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ibaraki is the prefecture with the highest number of egg-laying hens at 15.5 million, followed by Chiba with 12.4 million. Miyazaki has the highest number of broilers in the country with 28.2 million, while the neighboring prefecture of Kagoshima ranks second for broilers and third for egg-laying hens. The long-term spread of avian influenza in leading production areas has inevitably affected supply and demand of chicken and eggs.

The common factor in all the poultry avian influenza outbreak cases so far this season is the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 virus with a high fatality rate detected each time. In 10 prefectures yet to experience farm outbreaks, the same virus has been found in wild birds and feces at and alongside rivers and lakes.

Courtesy of nippon.com

https://tinyurl.com/3j743vvv

1 MILLION + poultry killed since December 2020 due to Bird Flu in France

Avian influenza outbreaks continue to ravage the poultry sector in France, leading to the culling of over a million birds in the southwest region.

Since the first case was detected in mid-November, the number of outbreaks has increased to 264.

In a statement released on Friday, the Food and Agriculture Ministry said as a preventive measure 1.116 million poultry, mostly ducks, have been culled in the municipalities of Gers, Landes, Pyrenees-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrenees.

Around 12 cases have been recorded outside the south-west region.

The highly contagious H5N8 virus was also found to have spread among wildlife. Authorities recorded at least 10 deaths among wild birds due to the virus.

To control the risk of spreading the virus, the movement of poultry has been prohibited in these areas.

The H5N8 virus exclusively affects birds and is not transmissible to humans through the consumption of meat or eggs.

Courtesy of aa.com.tr

https://tinyurl.com/yuxxraks

101,000 chickens killed due to Bird Flu in Hungary

Hungary’s food safety authority NEBIH ordered the slaughter of 101,000 chickens on Thursday because of a bird flu outbreak, it said on its website.

The slaughter of the birds was ordered at a single egg-producing farm in central Hungary, with a 10km observation buffer zone set around the farm and international partners informed of the decision, the authority said.

A series of bird flu outbreaks have been reported on farms in Germany, France, Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks, with wild birds suspected to be spreading the disease.

Courtesy of yahoo.com

https://tinyurl.com/dfttehz5

Dozens of dead seagulls seen on Dublin beach as new strain of bird flu virus circulates

A “highly pathogenic strain” of the bird flu virus is currently in circulation according to the Department of Agriculture.

The department was responding to reports of significant numbers of dead birds discovered around the State including dozens of seagulls observed on Sandymount Strand in recent days.

The strain AI H5N8, has been detected in 18 wild bird species across eight counties – Limerick, Monaghan, Wicklow, Mayo, Cork, Wexford, Louth and Kildare. Species affected include peregrine falcon, mute swan, curlew, whooper swan, cormorant and barnacle goose.

The department said it did receive reports of dead birds on Sandymount Strand but they had gone missing when staff went to investigate.

“However, when Department staff went to retrieve the birds for testing in the Department’s laboratories as part of this Avian Influenza surveillance programme, the carcasses were no longer in the reported location.”

Courtesy of irishtimes.com

https://tinyurl.com/b7ebtu7f

13.6 MILLION birds killed since due to Bird Flu in South Korea

South Korea said it has now culled 13.6 million birds as a preventive measure as the case count for H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza have reached 46. The culls include 10.2 million chickens, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Meanwhile, China’s General Administration of Customs said that the country has stopped imports of poultry from France due to H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza, with the halt effective from 5 January.

This comes after the French farm ministry Tuesday said it would cull 600,000 birds due to bird flu — 200,000 have already been culled with plans to cull another 400,000 birds. The country confirmed 61 outbreaks as of 1 January, with 48 in the Landes region alone, a key duck breeding area that supplies the foie gras industry.

India has now started the cull of poultry in the country, planning to cull at least 36,000 birds after both domestic and wild birds have died from bird flu. The country found its first case of the H5N8 bird flu one week ago, with the government now issuing a “high alert” and is calling on states to take “urgent measures” to prevent the spread.

China has emerged as a key market for US poultry, becoming the second largest for US broiler exports based on January-October 2020 trade data so trade blocks on other countries could provide some additional potential for US broiler/chicken exports to the country.

Meantime, Hungary will cull 90,000 turkeys in northwest areas of the country after bird flu was confirmed there on Wednesday 6 January. The H5N8 strain of bird flu is spreading rapidly across Europe and Asia.

Courtesy of thepoultrysite.com

https://tinyurl.com/3zzfc5db

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

China reports 3 human H9N2 avian influenza cases

H9N2 Virus

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting three new cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) virus in China.

The first case is a one-year-old female from Sichuan Province, China, with onset of illness on 30 November 2020. The patient had exposure to backyard poultry.

The second case is a five-year-old female in Anhui Province, China, whose date of onset was 17 January 2021.

The third case is a 2-year-old female in Jiangxi Province, China whose date of onset was 18 January 2021.

All three cases had developed mild illness and recovered, and no additional cases suspected among contacts by the time of reporting.

In most human cases of H9N2 avian flu, the associated disease symptoms have been mild and there has been no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Influenza A(H9N2) viruses are enzootic in poultry populations in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Most human cases are exposed to the A(H9N2) virus through contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments. Human infection tends to result in mild clinical illness.

A total of 43 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) in China have been reported since December 2015.

Courtesy of http://outbreaknewstoday.com/

https://tinyurl.com/ywk75muh

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

https://tinyurl.com/elh619yu

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

https://tinyurl.com/1tp32slr

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

https://tinyurl.com/4vfbdvhe