H5N1 hits Vietnam again as 7 European nations report more H5N8

In the latest avian influenza developments, Vietnam reported another highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreak as seven European countries reported more H5N8 outbreaks in both poultry and wild birds, according to official reports, most of them from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Vietnam's latest H5N1 outbreak began on Feb 14, striking backyard birds in An Giang province in the southern part of the country. The virus killed 30 poultry, and authorities culled the remaining 50 birds. The outbreak is the fifth involving H5N1 in Vietnam this year.

Elsewhere, France—the country hardest hit by H5N8 along with other avian flu strains—reported 68 new outbreaks in poultry and 13 more detections in wild birds, according to separate reports from the OIE.

The latest farm outbreaks occurred in southwestern France and had start dates ranging from Feb 1 to Feb 20. The facilities collectively housed 33,568 susceptible birds. Officials have been doing preemptive culling in Landes department to curb the spread of the virus. Officials also reported 13 more detections of H5N8 in 24 wild birds found sick or dead, most of them swans, across a wide area of France between Feb 3 and Feb 19.

Hungary reported 19 more H5N8 outbreaks in poultry, 13 at farms and 6 involving backyard birds. The outbreaks began from Dec 23 to Feb 18 and affected eight different counties across a wide part of the country. The virus killed 13,258 of 455,528 susceptible birds, and the rest were destroyed as part of the outbreak response.

Other European countries also reporting more H5N8 outbreaks include:

  • Bulgaria reported one more outbreak in backyard poultry, an event that began on Feb 22 in Kardzhali province in the south, killing 25 of 62 birds.

  • Croatia reported H5N8 in three mute swans found dead on Feb 14 in Sisak-Moslavina County in the central part of the country.

  • Italy reported two more outbreaks, one that began on Feb 21 at a turkey farm housing nearly 20,000 birds in Lombardy region in the north and the other in a wild duck found sick on Dec 26 in a nature park in Veneto region, also in the north.

  • Slovakia reported one more H5N8 detection, involving a greylag goose found dead on Feb 21 in a lake in Bratislava region.

  • UK officials reported an H5N8 outbreak at a small farm housing 35 chickens near the town of Haltwhistle in Northumberland, according to a report today from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

See also:

Feb 23 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam

Feb 24 OIE report on H5N8 in French poultry

Feb 24 OIE report on H5N8 in French wild birds

Feb 24 OIE report on H5N8 in Hungary

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