China and Vietnam battle H5N1 outbreaks

Sep 18, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – China today reported a large H5N1 outbreak at a duck farm in Guangdong province, a day after veterinary officials in Vietnam reported the virus struck poultry in Hoa Binh province, according to reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The H5N1 outbreak in China started on Sep 11 at the farm in the city of Zhanjiang, which is a large urban area in the southwestern part of the south China province. The virus sickened 14,050 of 73,800 susceptible ducks, killing 6,300 of them. The remaining birds were culled to curb the spread of the disease.

The source of the virus is unknown, and authorities have limited poultry movement in the area, are screening birds, and have sprayed and disinfected the affected area, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese officials yesterday reported that the H5N1 virus struck poultry in a village in Hoa Binh province, a mountainous area located in the northwestern part of the country.

The OIE report said the virus killed all 400 of the susceptible birds and that so far the source of the virus has not been determined. Disinfection and limiting poultry transport are among the measures deployed to control disease spread.

H7N3 in Mexico
In other avian flu developments, Mexican officials are still battling outbreaks of highly pathogenic H7N3 in Jalisco state, an area that is one of the country's biggest egg producers, according to an OIE report yesterday. It detailed three recent outbreaks that struck farms in the middle of August, one that started on Aug 13 and two others that began on Aug 20.

Of 1,090,260 birds that were susceptible at the three locations, the virus sickened 86,569 and killed almost the same number. The report said authorities destroyed 477,930 more to keep the virus from spreading.

The report described a massive surveillance operation that has so far sampled birds at 537 production units. So far 44 H7N3 isolates have been detected at the commercial layer farms, and 1 isolate has been found in wild birds.

To date 11 million chickens have been culled to curb the virus, and other control measures that apply to the birds and their byproducts are still in place, according to the report.

Surveillance activities have not found the virus at farms or in backyard birds in other parts of Mexico, suggesting the outbreak is under control, the report said.

Officials launched a poultry vaccination campaign using a product manufactured in Mexico on Jun 26, and, as of Sep 14, 125.8 million doses have been given, some of which are booster doses. Vaccination activities will continue another 60 to 90 days, according to the OIE report.

See also:

Sep 18 OIE report on H5N1 in China

Sep 17 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam

Sep 17 OIE report on H7N3 in Mexico

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