Signaling continued activity of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu in Africa, Nigeria reported that the virus hit more farms, with three European countries reporting more outbreaks in poultry and wild birds.
In developments with other high-path strains, Cambodia today reported its first H5N1 outbreak of the year, which affected backyard poultry.
Latest H5N8 outbreaks
Nigeria, which reported its first H5N8 outbreak in the middle of December, yesterday reported two more events, both involving farms in Plateau state in the center of the country, according to a report yesterday to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The outbreaks started on Jan 18 and Jan 20, one at a layer farm and the other at a facility housing 17-week-old pullets. Of 4,000 birds at the two locations, the virus sickened 410 and killed 60. Authorities destroyed the remaining birds as part of their control measures.
Though the source of the virus wasn't determined, agriculture ministry officials said poor farm biosecurity may have played a role.
In Europe, three countries reported additional H5N8 detections:
- Finland today reported another finding in a wild bird, this time involving a white-tailed eagle found dead on Jan 14 near the city of Rauma on the country's western coast.
- Poland reported three more outbreaks, two on farms and one in backyard poultry. The events began on Jan 26 and Jan 27, killing 3,410 of 6,252 birds. Authorities destroyed the surviving poultry to curb the spread of the virus.
- UK officials today confirmed H5N8 at a game bird farm in Wyre, Lancashire, linked to another recent outbreak, according to an update from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The 63,000 birds at the second farm—pheasants, partridges, and ducks—were already targeted for proactive culling.
H5N1 strikes Cambodian farm
Cambodia's H5N1 outbreak, its first since May 2016, struck backyard bird in Svay Rieng in the country's southeast, on the border with Vietnam, the agriculture ministry said in a report today to the OIE.
The poultry owner reported poultry illnesses and deaths beginning on Jan 25, which triggered testing and an investigation. The virus killed 68 of 390 birds, with the remaining ones destroyed as a response step. Authorities also imposed movement controls and disinfected the affected area.
Jan 31 OIE report on H5N8 in Nigeria
Jan 31 OIE report on H5N1 in Cambodia