Four countries in different parts of the world reported new highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in poultry, while others report more H5N8 detections in both wild birds and poultry, according to media reports and notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
H5N1 detections in poultry
India, Laos, Niger, and Vietnam all reported fresh H5N1 detections. India's agriculture ministry said in an OIE report today that the virus struck a state poultry breeding and research farm in Odisha state on the country's eastern coast.
The outbreak began on Jan 30 and killed 2,091 of 3,570 birds at the facility. Authorities destroyed the surviving birds to curb the spread of the virus. The outbreak is the second involving H5N1 in India this year; in late January officials reported an event involving village birds, also in Odisha state.
In Laos, officials said H5N1 was detected in village poultry near Vientaine, the country's capital, which led to the culling of 700 birds, Xinhua reported, citing a Laotian state media report. The agriculture ministry said the outbreak is the fourth involving H5N1 in Laos this year.
Niger reported an H5N1 outbreak at layer and broiler farms in Tillaberi region in the west, officials said yesterday in a report to the OIE. The event began on Jan 7, and the virus killed 2,993 of 33,537 susceptible birds.
The country reported its last H5N1 outbreak in December, which also hit poultry in the same region. Niger is among a handful of African countries to report recent H5N1 outbreaks. The others are Cameroon and Nigeria.
Vietnam reported three more H5N1 outbreaks in different provinces, all involving backyard poultry, according to an OIE report yesterday. Affected provinces are Soc Trang and Dong Nai in the south Nam Dinh in the north.
The outbreaks began on Feb 14 and Feb 15, and all told the virus killed 4,300 of 10,590 susceptible poultry. Confirmation of the three new outbreaks comes just 2 days after Vietnam reported its first H5N1 outbreak of the year, which struck backyard birds in Bac Lieu province in the south.
H5N8 in South Korea and Europe
Meanwhile, South Korean officials today announced another H5N8 outbreak, this time affecting a duck farm in South Jeolla province in the southwestern part of the country, according to an agriculture ministry statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog.
Tests are under way to see of the virus is highly pathogenic. South Korea has reported 59 avian flu outbreaks so far this season, 49 involving H5N6 and 10 linked to H5N8. Its most recent previous H5N8 outbreak struck a poultry farm in North Jeolla province.
In Europe, two countries noted more H5N8 outbreaks, according to the latest reports from the OIE:
- Ireland reported three more outbreaks involving wild birds—a grey heron and swans—found dead on Feb 3 and Feb 7 in Cork and Tipperary counties.
- Poland reported three outbreaks at poultry farms, two in Wielkopolska province in the west-central part of the country and one in Podlasie province in the northeast. The events began on Feb 19 and Feb 20, killing 8,853 of 95,556 susceptible birds. Authorities culled the remaining poultry to slow the spread of the virus.
Feb 22 OIE report on H5N1 in India
Feb 21 Xinhua story on H5N1 in Laos
Feb 21 OIE report on H5N1 in Niger
Feb 21 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam
Feb 22 AFD post on H5N8 in South Korea
Feb 21 OIE report on 1 H5N8 outbreak in Ireland
Feb 21 OIE report on 2 H5N8 outbreaks in Ireland
Feb 21 OIE report on H5N8 in Poland