Animal health officials in Vietnam reported the first outbreaks of the year involving two highly pathogenic avian flu strains—H5N6 and H5N1—as five European countries reported more outbreaks of H5N8 in both wild birds and poultry.
Outbreaks are Vietnam's first of 2017
The H5N6 outbreak in Vietnam is the country's first since last summer, increasing the number of Asian countries reporting recent detections of the virus to seven. Other nations or territories that have reported recent H5N6 outbreaks are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, and Taiwan.
In the latest event, the virus struck backyard birds in Quang Ngai province in the east central part of Vietnam, according to a report today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak began on Feb 12, killing 2,000 of 6,160 susceptible birds, with the surviving ones culled to control the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, an H5N1 outbreak struck backyard birds in Bac Lieu province in southern Vietnam, the OIE said yesterday in a report. The event began on Feb 14, killing 400 of 2,785 birds in the area. Authorities destroyed the remaining poultry as part of response measures. Vietnam's last H5N1 outbreak occurred in October of 2016.
Elsewhere, Taiwan, which reported its first H5N6 outbreak earlier this month, over the weekend confirmed three more outbreaks, to bring its total to 16, China News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday. The latest events include a chicken farm in Yunlin County, a goose farm in Chiayi County, and ducks at a slaughterhouse in Yilan County.
H5N6 has been linked to 17 illnesses in humans, all in China.
H5N8 developments in Europe
In France, H5N8 and other strains continue in a hard-hit area in the southwest of the country that is home to foie gras production, the second year in a row the area has battled such outbreaks.
Agriculture officials reported 46 more H5N8 outbreaks in poultry in Gers and Landes departments, with start dates ranging from Feb 6 to Feb 13, according to the OIE. Affected farms housed mainly ducks, but some chickens and geese were affected as well. Of 218,548 susceptible birds, the virus killed 46, and the remaining birds were destroyed.
French officials also reported seven more H5N8 outbreaks in wild birds found dead in different parts of the country, including Ain department in the east central part of the country and Vosges department in the northeast. Taken together, 19 birds were found dead between Feb 3 and Feb 8, most of them mute swans.
In other French avian flu developments, officials also reported four poultry farm outbreaks involving low-pathogenic H5N1, another strain authorities have been battling in the southwest. The detections occurred from Feb 6 to Feb 11 in Gers and Tarn departments.
Elsewhere, four other countries in Europe reported fresh H5N8 outbreaks, according to the latest reports from the OIE:
- Croatia reported one more outbreak involving five wild swans found dead beginning on Feb 7 in Koprivnica-Krizevci county in the north.
- Italy reported another outbreak in poultry, this time at a turkey farm in Veneto region in the northeast. The outbreak began on Feb 16, killing 140 of 41,373 susceptible birds.
- Sweden reported two more detections in wild birds, both in Stockholm. The events involved a mute swan and a crow found dead on Feb 2 and Feb 3, respectively.
- Ukraine officials reported an outbreak at a zoo in the city of Mykolaiv in the southern part of the country. The facility houses 931 birds of 104 different species. The outbreak began on Feb 14, killing 10 peacocks.
Feb 20 OIE report on H5N6 in Vietnam
Feb 19 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam
Feb 19 CNA report
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in French poultry
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in French wild birds
Feb 17 OIE report on low-path H5N1 in French poultry
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in Croatia
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in Italy
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in Sweden
Feb 17 OIE report on H5N8 in Ukraine