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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

16,000+ birds killed due to bird flu in Ghana

Bird Flu
After confirmation by the OIE Reference Laboratory and the delegate from Ghana, please be informed that the molecular and pathogenicity analysis performed confirmed H9N2 low pathogenic avian influenza virus. As this isolate is not OIE notifiable, the report has been removed from WAHIS interface as of 19 Mar 2018.
Notification submitted by Ghana’s chief veterinary officer on 14 Feb 2018, notifying an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza which had started on 3 Jan 2018 and was confirmed on 10 Jan 2018. The reason for notification was given as “new strain of a listed disease in the country” and the causal agent, “highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, serotype H9N2”. The outbreak was recorded on a farm with 16 822 susceptible “78 weeks old brown layers in deep litter” of which 4225 cases (deaths) were counted. The remaining 12 597 birds were, reportedly, killed and disposed of. The diagnosis was performed by the Accra Veterinary Laboratory (national laboratory) applying real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR), found positive.
The OIE notification above was accompanied by Mod.CRD’s commentary, including the following remark:
“It is well known that LPAI H9N2 circulates in Africa. However, this would be the 1st time that the subtype H9N2 is characterized as a highly pathogenic strain. Further laboratory studies may be needed to fully characterize the virus. If it is indeed a highly pathogenic strain as reported, this would be quite alarming for both animal and public health.”
The reporting, by Ghana, of the case demonstrates transparency and deserves to be commended. It is relieving indeed to note that an alarming reassortment of the widespread H9N2 strain into high pathogenicity has not taken place.
The event highlights the need for continued vigilance, in Africa and elsewhere, as well as the importance of involving OIE reference laboratories in epidemiological investigations.
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23,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in Monywa, Myanmar

Bird Flu

Myanmar authorities have culled 23,226 chickens as of Tuesday in its preventive measures against further spread of H9N2 bird flu which occurred in Monywa, northwestern Sagaing region earlier this month, local media reported Wednesday.
The culled chickens were from 47 poultry farms owned by 29 breeders, local regional government was quoted as saying.
Bio-security measures were also taken on 168 other poultry farms.
Currently, poultry farming zone in Monywa has been designated as restricted zone, banning people from entering except responsible personnel.
Before the outbreak of H9N2 bird flu, the Monywa poultry farming zone was breeding 120,000 chickens, producing nearly 80,000 quails daily, according to the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD).
No human infection has been so far reported.
The Ministry of health is carrying out fever surveillance on the workers that were tasked with culling the infected chickens.
A special team has also implemented a quarantine zone of the infected area and is carrying out surveillance, infection control measures as well as providing medical assistance to those with suspected human infection.
Isolation ward and temporary clinic have also been set up at the poultry farming zone to provide healthcare to villagers and raise awareness about the bird flu.
The same farming zone also saw an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in February 2015 when more than 140,000 chickens and 500,000 quails were culled.
H5N1 avian influenza was first reported in Sagaing and Mandalay region in 2006 and recurred in 2002.
Courtesy of news.xinhuanet