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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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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

https://tinyurl.com/ye8px7xz

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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Around 30,000 birds on a poultry farm in Northern Ireland have been culled following the detection of bird flu

Bird Flu

Around 30,000 birds on a poultry farm in Northern Ireland have been culled following the detection of bird flu at the premises.

This marks the first time the disease has been confirmed in a commercial flock in the country since 1998. A 3-mile protection zone has been set up around the farm near Clough in County Antrim by the Department of Agriculture. Northern Ireland’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Dr Robert Huey has initiated disease control measures based on clinical signs and the initial results provided by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) as well as the recent detections of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 in a number of wild birds across Northern Ireland (NI).

Dr Huey said: “The department was contacted on New Year’s Eve by a Private Veterinary Practitioner (PVP) reporting suspicion of notifiable avian disease at a holding in County Antrim. Since then, we have taken samples and initial results from AFBI suggest that notifiable Avian Influenza (AI) is present. We are now awaiting official confirmation from the National Reference Laboratory to determine pathogenicity and strain of the disease.” He continues: “Given the level of suspicion and the density of the poultry population around the holding, it is vital that as a matter of precaution, we act now and act fast. I have therefore taken the decision to cull the birds as well as introduce temporary control zones around the holding in an effort to protect our poultry industry and stop the spread of the virus.” An epidemiological investigation is underway to determine the likely source of infection and determine the risk of disease spread.

Courtesy of poultryworld.net

https://tinyurl.com/yxh3m9ls

UK reports more cases of H5N8 bird flu

Bird Flu

The Animal and Plant Health Agency in the UK has confirmed three outbreaks of H5N8 bird flu this week in East Devon and Norfolk. The cases in Devon were found in backyard poultry and the other two outbreaks in Norfolk were found at a duck farm and in a captive (non-poultry) bird.

Surveillance zones have been declared around the outbreaks. The latest outbreaks follow ramped up biosecurity protocols announced earlier in December.

Courtesy of thepoultrysite.com

https://tinyurl.com/y8aa2fov

BIRD FLU CONFIRMED ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT, UK

Bird Flu

Bird flu has been confirmed on the Isle of Wight, the local authority has confirmed this afternoon (Wednesday).

A wild swan found deceased at Ryde Canoe Lake has tested positive for H5N8 avian flu, meaning the influenza has now reached the Island.

Avian influenza can be deadly to birds but has little direct impact on humans. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

As previously reported by Island Echo, 7 swans have been found dead at the canoe lake over the past 2 weeks – 4 in the past 2 days alone. Each reported death has been investigated by the council but in only 1 case was the dead bird still present. That bird was securely stored and reported to DEFRA.

As a precaution, footpaths around Ryde Canoe Lake will now be closed off. Police have implemented a cordon in the area this lunchtime.

Visitors to Ryde Canoe Lake or nearby water bodies are being asked to not attempt to feed the waterfowl at this time, as this may attract them to locations where they could spread infection, especially in areas where domesticated birds might also be about.

Courtesy of islandecho.co.uk

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At least 10,000 turkeys to be slaughtered as bird flu confirmed on UK farm in North Yorkshire

Bird Flu

More than 10,000 turkeys will be culled at a site in North Yorkshire following an outbreak of bird flu.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the cull on Sunday adding that it should not have an impact on supplies of turkey over Christmas.

The discovery of the H5N8 strain of the avian flu was made at a turkey fattening site near Northallerton was made on Saturday.

Defra released a statement confirming the news.

It reads: “Avian influenza of the H5N8 strain was confirmed at a turkey fattening premises near Northallerton on Saturday November 28.

“All 10,500 birds at the farm will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease.

“A 3km and 10km temporary control zone has been put in place around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading.”

The statement added there is not anticipated to be any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas.

The news comes after around 13,500 birds were culled earlier this month after an avian flu outbreak was confirmed at a commercial farm in Helsby, near Frodsham in Cheshire.

Public Health England and local health protection teams, who were involved, said the human risk of infection is very low for the general population, and low for those immediate contacts on site.

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”

Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although clinical signs vary between species of bird.

H5N8 avian influenza is currently circulating in wild birds and poultry in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, causing clinical signs in affected birds.

This led to the risk level being raised to medium for the incursion into the UK through the movement of wild birds.

These viruses are in no way connected to the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is not carried in poultry.

Courtesy of mirror.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/y699tx2y

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

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330,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Kazakhstan

Bird Flu

Some 330,000 birds on poultry farms have been killed in Kazakhstan due to highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu in seven regions of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Thursday.

More than 1.7 million birds have been vaccinated in 424 rural districts in Kazakhstan, the ministry said, adding that 7.7 million doses of vaccines have been distributed to regions affected by bird flu.

Due to strict quarantine measures, the outbreak of bird flu was relatively contained in the regions of Turkestan, Zhambyl, Aktobe and Karaganda, as well as in the city of Shymkent, according to the ministry.

The northern Kazakhstan region, which borders Russia, reported the country’s first outbreak of bird flu in early September.

Previously, Kazakhstan’s agriculture ministry said wild birds from Russia, where cases of bird flu were detected in August in the Omsk and Chelyabinsk regions, could transmit the virus to Kazakhstan.

Courtesy of noticiasagricolas.com.br

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