‘Largest-ever outbreak’ of bird flu with ‘phenomenal levels’ across UK
There are 40 infected premises across Britain amid warnings that wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter are likely carrying the disease.
Half a million birds have been culled as the country remains only a few weeks into a three-month migratory season.
It comes after an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone was declared across the UK on November 3.
This was extended on November 29 with the requirement that all captive birds be kept indoors.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer, who is leading the response, warned cases are at a ‘phenomenal level’ on Thursday.
Bird flu only infects humans in extremely rare cases, but the situation has ‘huge human, animal and trade implications’, Christine Middlemiss said.
She told the BBC: ‘We can’t wait until another year and have an even bigger outbreak.
‘So, we will be working not just with our own scientists but internationally, to understand more of what we can do about what’s behind it.’
Cautioning the migratory season will last until March, she added: ‘We are going to need to keep up these levels of heightened biosecurity for all that time.’
Immediate research is needed to stop a worse outbreak in future years, Ms Middlemiss added.
Minister George Eustice told the House of Commons today: ‘Each year the UK faces a seasonal risk in incursion of avian influenza associated with migratory wild birds.
‘While we have that each year, I have to say this year we are now seeing the largest-ever outbreak in the UK of avian influenza with 36 confirmed cases.’
The protection zone means keepers must continue taking precautions including regular cleaning and disinfecting clothing, equipment and vehicles and limiting access to non-essential workers and visitors.
Defra has said the new housing measures will be kept under regular review.
Courtesy of metro.co.uk
9.8 MILLION birds killed due to bird flu in Japan
Animal health authorities in Japan have culled a record 9.87 million birds, mostly chickens and ducks, to stop the spread of highly pathogenic bird flu.
Japan has been contending with outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu since November 2020. Recent reporting in the Japan Times and JiJi Press says that the outbreak spread to 18 prefectures, including Chiba and Ibaraki, the country’s main poultry producing areas.
As of Saturday 8 May, veterinary authorities culled around 9.87 million birds as part of biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This number is a dramatic increase from the previous record cull of 1.83 million birds in the 2010-2011 outbreak.
The Jiji Press reports that the widespread culls are behind the recent spike in egg prices.
Poultry farmers and backyard keepers are being encouraged to adopt stringent biosecurity measures to prevent further outbreaks of bird flu.
Courtesy of thepoultrysite.com
90,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Ludhiana, Punjab, India
The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, has confirmed avian influenza in samples of birds sent from a poultry farm at Kila Raipur, prompting the administration to order culling of 90,000 birds.
The samples were collected on Wednesday after owner of Suba Singh poultry farm informed the administration about the mysterious death of 1,500 birds.
As the report confirming presence of bird flu arrived on Friday evening, deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma declared the area within a kilometre of the epicentre as infected zone and 1-10km as surveillance zone.
Ordering culling of 90,000 birds at the farm, he also constituted a nine-member committee to oversee the process and ensure that no bird, unprocessed poultry meat, eggs, feed or any other material was taken out from the poultry farm.
The committee headed by Khanna additional deputy commissioner Sakatar Singh Bal took stock of the situation at the farm on Saturday.
Bal said 20 teams of the animal husbandry department will start the culling operation in two shifts from Sunday. With a target of 4,000-6,000 birds a day, the process should be completed in around three weeks, he added.
Courtesy of hindustantimes.com
40,000 hens to be killed due to bird flu in the Southeastern village of Krivo Pole Bulgaria
Bulgarian veterinary authorities will cull 40,000 laying hens in the southeastern village of Krivo Pole after a bird flu outbreak was confirmed at an industrial farm there, the fifth since the start of the year, the food safety agency said late on Friday.
The agency said the farm had 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 154,000 hens have been culled at four other farms in the Balkan country since February as authorities try to contain the spread of the disease.
World’s 1st case of human infection with H10N3 Bird Flu recorded in China
China has reported the world’s first case of a human infected with the H10N3 bird flu, which is usually found in poultry. Health authorities said the risk of a large-scale outbreak is “extremely low.”
The patient is a 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang, a city in the eastern coastal Jiangsu province, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announced on Tuesday. The man was originally hospitalized on April 28 after having fever and other symptoms.
“No human cases of H10N3 have been reported in the world, and the H10N3 virus among poultry is low pathogenic,” the NHC said, adding that the risk of large-scale spread of the infection among the human population is “extremely low.”
The NHC said the man became infected from poultry but did not provide any details regarding how it happened. The patient’s condition is stable, and he is ready to be discharged from the hospital, the health agency said.
H10N3 is a subtype of the avian influenza virus, which is lethal to wild birds and poultry, and can spread by air among animals through breathing just like the normal flu.
There are several strains of the bird flu of varying contagiousness that lead to sporadic outbreaks and usually affect poultry workers.
A major infection of humans by avian viruses in China was last observed during outbreaks of the H7N9 strain in 2013 and 2016-17. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 616 people have died from H7N9 since early 2013.
Courtesy of rt.com
Bird Flu outbreak in poultry on 30 farms from seven states in Nigeria
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reports an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in poultry on 30 farms from seven states in Nigeria.
The affected states include Kano, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and the Niger States.
In addition the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports:
As of 28 March 2021, 83 human nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples have been collected from contacts of confirmed birds in four states: Kano (27), Bauchi (19), Gombe (19), and Plateau (18). All contacts were farmers, farmworkers, bird-handlers, and traders, and all were asymptomatic. Of the 83 collected samples, 64 samples were analyzed using real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR). From the 64 analyzed samples, seven were positive for influenza A virus, including six samples of influenza A(H5) neuraminidase (NA) remains undetermined) and one sample of unsubtypable influenza A virus. These seven confirmed samples have been reported in Kano (four) and Plateau (three) states and have been shipped to the WHO Collaborating Centre in the US for further characterization.
Courtesy of outbreaknewstoday.com
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
209,606+ birds killed due to bird flu in Maharashtra, India
Maharashtra has been struggling with bird flu or avian influenza since more than a month. It has reported deaths of over 40,213 birds in the state since January 8 and has culled over 200,000 poultry birds following confirmation of bird flu from ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, till date. The figures include around 137,305 poultry birds in Navapur tehsil of Nandurbar district in the last two days (Sunday and Monday).
On Monday, 105,305 poultry birds were culled at four farms in Navapur to contain the spread.
The culling process is started only after receiving a confirmation of bird flu from ICAR-NIHSAD – the central laboratory for bird flu testing. The culling is being done within a one-km radius of the poultry farm affected by the virus.
This is the second time the state is dealing with bird flu in the last 15 years. In 2006, it was limited to Navapur, which was the epicentre of the disease in the Nandurbar district, but this time, the scenario is different. The zoonotic disease has spread to 45 epicentres covering 20 districts across the state.
However, 41 epicentres have been issued sanitisation certificates, indicating they are free from the virus and consumption of poultry products has been allowed in these areas. These epicentres will continue to be monitored for the next three months, government officials said.
Courtesy of hindustantimes.com
100,000 poultry killed due to bird flu in Vietnam
Vietnam has culled more 100,000 poultry so far this year in a bid to contain the spread of bird flu in the Southeast Asian country, the government said on Monday.
The country has reported outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 and H5N6 bird flu strains in 14 provinces, the government said in a statement on its website.
“The risk for the outbreaks to spread on a larger scale is very high,” the statement said.
Vietnam has a poultry flock of around 460 million birds, and small-scale bird flu outbreaks have occurred sporadically in the country during the past few years.
Courtesy of bangkokpost.com
1.15 MILLION poultry killed due to bird flu in Chiba and Miyazaki, Japan
New cases of avian influenza believed to be of a highly pathogenic strain have been confirmed at poultry farms in both Chiba and Miyazaki prefectures, their prefectural governments announced on Sunday.
Chiba Prefecture decided to cull all of some 1.15 million chickens raised at the affected farm in the town of Tako to prevent the spread of the virus and requested the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces for help to complete task swiftly.
This is the seventh bird flu outbreak at a farm in Chiba since December last year, following an outbreak confirmed at a farm in the nearby city of Asahi only on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the 11th farm bird flu case in Miyazaki this season hit a poultry facility in the town of Shintomi. The prefectural government is culling all of around 240,000 chickens raised there. The facility is located only about 500 meters away from a farm where the viral outbreak occurred in late January.
Restrictions have been imposed on the transfers of eggs and chickens from all farms within 10 kilometers of the facilities newly hit by the disease in the two prefectures.
Courtesy of japantimes.co.jp