H5N1 revisits Turkey as H5N8 plagues Taiwan

Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu has resurfaced in Turkey for the first time since 2008, while the H5N8 virus has hit five more poultry farms in Taiwan, according to reports filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

In Turkey, H5N1 killed a backyard flock of 27 poultry in the north-central province of Kastamonu, said a report submitted by Turkish officials today. They didn't specify what bird species were in the flock.

In response to the outbreak, officials destroyed 92 backyard poultry within 3 kilometers of the site and cleaned and disinfected the facilities where they were kept, the report said. Monitoring is ongoing within 10 kilometers of the outbreak.

The report said the incident is Turkey's first H5N1 outbreak since April 2008.

Meanwhile, a Turkish media service said avian flu was detected in chickens in the Bandirma district in western Turkey, but it didn't specify the subtype. The story in the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday said avian flu was found in a facility where 40,000 chickens have died over the past 4 months. It said the surviving birds at the facility and others nearby were destroyed.

A May 2 report from the EMPRES Global Animal Disease Information System of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) matches up with the media report, saying 40,000 birds in Bandirma, Balikesir province, have died of avian flu, but it likewise did not specify the subtype.

Five Taiwan H5N8 outbreaks

Meanwhile, the five H5N8 outbreaks in Taiwan, reported to the OIE on May 1, extended a string of outbreaks that began in January. They involved two chicken farms and one goose farm in Yunlin County and two chicken farms in neighboring Changhua County, Taiwan officials said The two counties are in the west-central part of the island.

Of 94,960 susceptible birds, 37,034 were killed by the virus, and the rest were destroyed to try to stop its further spread, the report said. Other response measures include movement restrictions, cleaning and disinfection, and intensified surveillance on farms within a 3-kilometer radius of the outbreak.

The highly pathogenic H5N2 virus was also found on one of the five farms, according to the report. Taiwan has been battling a number of outbreaks of both H5N8 and H5N2 over the past several months. Also, in January Taiwan officials reported a new strain of highly pathogenic H5N3 virus on a goose farm.

See also:

May 4 OIE report from Turkey

May 3 Hurriyet Daily News story

FAO EMPRES site

May 4 OIE report from Taiwan

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