High-path avian flu outbreaks hit more farms in Taiwan, Bulgaria
Agriculture officials in Taiwan yesterday said 51 more poultry farms have been struck by H5N8 avian influenza and 108 more facilities have reported more H5N2 outbreaks, with some of the locations hit by both strains, according to two separate reports to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The new H5N8 outbreaks are concentrated on the southwestern part of the island and involve mostly goose farms, though fresh outbreaks were also reported from five duck farms and three farms that house native chickens. Of 224,963 susceptible birds, authorities reported 46,230 deaths, and the remaining birds were slated for culling.
Among the 51 farms reporting H5N8, 12 reported concurrent infection with the H5N2 strain, which is also ravaging Taiwan's poultry.
Meanwhile, most of the 108 new H5N2 outbreaks were located in southwestern Taiwan, but a few were reported on the west central and northwestern part of the island. Most of the farms housed geese, but some were raising ducks and chickens.
Of 660,131 susceptible birds, 128,132 deaths were reported, and the remaining birds were to be destroyed.
Since early January animal health officials in Taiwan have battled the two highly pathogenic viruses at hundreds of poultry farms, and they have also been grappling with a smaller number of outbreaks involving a new highly pathogenic subtype. Widespread virus activity on the farms has triggered monitoring for human infections, but none have been reported so far.
Feb 4 OIE update on H5N8 in Taiwan
Feb 4 OIE update on H5N2 in Taiwan
In another avian flu development, Bulgarian agriculture officials shared details about an outbreak in the southeastern province of Burgas that was reported in the media recently. In a report yesterday to the OIE, they said tests confirmed highly pathogenic H5N1 in samples from backyard birds and that the virus had killed 20 of 22 susceptible birds.
The source of the outbreak was probably contact with wild species. In late January the H5N1 virus was detected in a pelican found dead in the same province.
Feb 4 OIE update on H5N1 in Bulgaria
H7N9 hospitalizes two more in Guangdong province
Two more H7N9 avian influenza infections have been reported from China's Guangdong province, both men from Shenzhen, according to two separate government sources today.
One of the patients is a 77-year-old whose illness was confirmed Feb 3 and who is hospitalized, says a provincial health department statement translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.
The other man is a 51-year-old who is hospitalized in serious condition, according to a report today from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP), which cited the provincial health department.
In what appears to be a third wave of H7N9 infections that began in the fall, the Guangdong province city of Shenzhen has now reported 11 cases. The two new infections lift the global H7N9 total to 546, according to a case list kept by FluTrackers.
Feb 5 FluTrackers thread
Feb 5 CHP statement
FluTrackers H7N9 case list