Among more reports of H5N8 in Europe, FAO issues warning
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued a report on the smattering of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases in Hungary and India reported last week. They said the cases are likely from the Tyva 2016 strain first reported in Russia in September, and predicted the strain will pose a risk to Europe and the Middle East through March of 2017.
The FAO said recent cases are part of the fourth wave of international H5 HPAI influenza since 2005. Reports of H5N8 in four Indian states and in a swan in Hungary show how wild birds play a role in spreading this disease during migratory periods.
Today Poland reported H5N8 in the northwest corner of the country. The infectious disease blog FluTrackers said several wild birds were found dead today in a water reservoir in Goleniow on Oct 28. H5N8 was found in samples taken from 5 ducks and 1 gull. According to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), this is a novel strain in Poland.
Nov 4 FAO statement
Nov 7 FluTrackers post
Nov 7 OIE post
Study finds earlier flu peak for H1N1 in swine production areas
North Carolina counties that had high concentrations of swine operations saw flulike illnesses in humans peak earlier than other locations in the state during the first two seasons the 2009 H1N1 virus circulated, a research team based at Duke University Medical Center reported yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The study was designed to gauge the risk of flu in people with swine contact, an association found in earlier investigations. Covering four consecutive flu seasons between 2008 and 2012, the team examined spatiotemporal relationships between swine production and human flu for all 100 of North Carolina counties. The state is the nation's second largest swine producer and is home to nearly 10 million pigs.
Flu activity peaked earlier during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, both of which were dominated by the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain. The team didn't see the same association in seasons before and after those two seasons when swine-derived flu viruses weren't circulating.
Concentrated swine-feeding operations amplified flu transmission when H1N1 was circulating, researchers said. However, they theorized that the finding might not be related to swine, but perhaps to other factors, such as other disease-driving dynamics—such as high-population density—in more urban areas. They wrote that the findings suggest a benefit for vaccine strategies that target swine workers and underscore the importance of virus surveillance in areas with high concentrations of swine production.
Nov 6 Clin Infect Dis abstract