H5N1 strikes Vietnam again as European H5N8 detections continue
In the latest avian flu developments, Vietnam reported another highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreak and Denmark and Finland reported more H5N8 detections. Also, Taiwan reported several more outbreaks caused by low-pathogenic H5N2, according to the latest notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Vietnam, which has been battling a steady stream of H5N1 and H5N6 events, reported a new H5N1 outbreak in backyard poultry in Quang Ninh province in the north. It began on Apr 27, killing 2,000 of 5,000 susceptible birds.
In Europe, Denmark reported 11 H5N8 detections, all in wild birds found dead from Jan 2 to Apr 4 across a wide part of the country, many of them forested areas. The virus was confirmed in 14 birds, many of them birds of prey. And Finland reported that tests on a white-tailed eagle found dead on Apr 8 near the Aland Islands in the far southwest were positive for H5N8.
Elsewhere, Taiwan reported six more outbreaks linked to low-pathogenic H5N2, but they were all from 2015, but pathogenicity results were just confirmed on Apr 18. The island is still battling low-pathogenic H5N2 alongside highly pathogenic H5N2, H5N3, H5N6, and H5N8. According to the OIE report, abnormal deaths were observed on five poultry farms, and symptoms were also seen in poultry carcasses at a slaughterhouse in Taipei City. The events led to the slaughter of 91,485 birds.
May 2 OIE report on H5N1 in Vietnam
May 2 OIE report on H5N8 in Denmark
Apr 28 OIE report on H5N8 in Finland
May 1 OIE report on low path H5N2 in Taiwan
Influenza activity decreasing in US, Europe
Levels of flu continue to decrease in much of the Northern Hemisphere, but influenza A and B are still circulating, with more influenza B cases detected in recent weeks, according to a global flu update from the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday.
All regions are reporting typical flu patterns for this time of year, the WHO said in the update.
The United States and Europe said that influenza B was predominating, while Canada still reported more influenza A. Asia reported all seasonal influenza strains to still be active and circulating. China was reporting increased 2009 H1N1 activity in both the northern and southern parts of the country.
Much of the Caribbean and South America reported low levels of influenza activity. Most of West Africa also reported low flu activity.
May 1 WHO update