High-path H5 avian flu outbreaks strike chickens in Vietnam and Taiwan
Animal health officials in Vietnam reported two outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu at poultry farms in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in the country's southeast, VN Express International, a newspaper based in Hanoi, reported today.
The report, which cites provincial officials, said the first outbreak was detected at a farm in Moc district following sudden deaths in a flock of 9,000 chickens. Poultry at another farm in the same area, which housed 1,500 birds, also tested positive for the virus.
About 10,500 birds were culled, the veterinary official said, adding that the birds may not have been fully vaccinated. Response activities include poultry vaccination in the region and tightening up the purchase, sale, and transport of birds in the affected areas.
H5N6 is an avian flu strain known to infect people, but so far no human infections have been reported in connection to Vietnam's two latest outbreak.
Aug 6 VN Express story
Meanwhile, Taiwan today reported four recent poultry outbreaks that involved highly pathogenic H5N2, part of activity that first began in 2015, according to a notification from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The events all involved farms housing native chickens or layer hens, three in Yunlin County and one in Changhua County. The outbreaks began from Jul 18 to Jul 22, killing 5,475 of 50,964 susceptible birds. Authorities culled 45,489 poultry as part of the outbreak response.
Aug 6 OIE report on H5N2 in Taiwan
Signs of flu peak or decrease in some Southern Hemisphere countries
In the Southern Hemisphere's temperate countries, flu activity appears to have peaked or decreased, though levels are still high in Australia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its latest global flu update, which includes data through Jul 21.
In Australia, flu patterns show geographic variability, with H3N2 viruses most common, followed by influenza B. Meanwhile, the level of flulike illness in New Zealand fell to just below the seasonal threshold.
In tropical parts of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, flu activity is low overall, though Cuba reported rising flu detections, with all subtypes cocirculating. In tropical regions of Africa, increasing H3N2 detections were reported in Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in tropical Asia increased flu activity was reported in Thailand, where H3N2 and influenza B are cocirculating. Flu levels remained high in Myanmar, where the 2009 H1N1 virus is the predominant strain.
At the global level, 63.6% of viruses that tested positive for flu were influenza A and 36.4% were influenza B. Of subtyped influenza A viruses, 57.1% were H3N2 and 42.9% were 2009 H1N1.
Aug 5 WHO global flu update