H5N8 reported on poultry farms in Hungary, France

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported 33 more outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu in Hungary today, including several on farms that house ducks, chickens, and other poultry. France, meanwhile, noted four new H5N8 outbreaks in poultry.

The affected Hungarian farms are clustered in the south-central and southeastern parts of the country.

A total of 303,141 turkeys, geese, ducks, and chickens are housed on the farms experiencing the outbreaks, which first began on Nov 25. The largest flocks are on a farm in Kompoc housing 70,000 broiler chickens and on a farm near Szank with 21,500 ducks and geese.

Hungary first reported H5N8 on Nov 4, when 2,374 turkeys died after they possibly contracted the disease from wild birds and 7,827 were destroyed to curb disease spread. Wild birds, including waterfowl, likely carried H5N8 from Siberia as they have migrated west and south for the winter months.

France, meanwhile, has reported more H5N8 on farms, according to a separate OIE report. On Dec 7 and 8, samples taken from ducks on a farm in Ricourt (in the southern tip of the country) tested positive for the disease after 100 birds died. The rest of the 7,600 ducks as well as 17,600 chickens were culled to prevent further transmission.

According to Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease blog, France's Ministry of Agriculture today reported four new H5N8 outbreaks on poultry farms. Three of the outbreaks are in Lot-et-Garonne department, and one in Gers.

In a separate post, AFD noted that the Epidemiosurveillance Sante Animale (ESA) issued a report on H5N8 in Europe yesterday. As of that date, there have been 406 outbreaks and cases reported, 138 more than the previous report on Dec 5. To date, 155 poultry farms have been affected.

The OIE also released reports on H5N8 outbreaks in Sweden and Romania, where wild gulls and swans have been found dead from the virus.

Asian countries control poultry sales

In Asia, H5N6 has been found in Japan, China, and South Korea. While Japan and China have mostly reported the disease in wild birds, South Korea has culled 10 million domestic poultry since mid-November in an effort to stop H5N6 from decimating the country's poultry industry.

Today, AFD carried a translated news item from South Korea that called for restrictions around the selling and transportation of poultry. Agricultural authorities ordered a 48-hour "stop" order on Monday for the transport of poultry, poultry products, personnel, or vehicles for disinfection. During this 2-day freeze, farms and facilities will be inspected and surveyed.

In Macao, poultry sales are suspended for 3 days after highly pathogenic H7 virus was found in live imported poultry from mainland China, according to a government statement translated by AFD. This is the third time this year Macao said H7 was detected in imported poultry.

Today Macao also reported its first human case of H7N9 (see related News Scan).

See also:

Dec 13 OIE Hungary report

Dec 13 OIE France report

Dec 13 AFD France post

Dec 13 AFD ESA post

Dec 13 AFD South Korea post

Dec 13 AFD Macao post

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