Avian influenza outbreaks tied to the H5N1 virus continue to strike poultry in Africa, with Ghana and Nigeria reporting new events, and two Asian locations are reporting new highly pathogenic H5N6 detections in birds.
Agriculture officials in each of the locations reported the details in notifications over the past 2 days to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Latest African outbreaks
In Ghana, the virus struck two locations in Greater Accra region, located on the country's southern coast, that affected backyard birds in a village and a farm. The village birds comprised a wide range of species, with exotic birds and assorted poultry, including ducks and turkeys. The poultry farm had old white layers, pullets, and cockerels.
One outbreak began in early October, and the other occurred in early November. Of 3,837 birds between the two locations, the virus killed 176, with the remaining ones culled to curb the spread of the disease. So far the source of the outbreaks hasn't been determined.
Nigerian officials today reported one more H5N1 outbreak, which started on Nov 17 and hit a pullet farm in Lagos state in the southern part of the country, not far from the border with Benin. The virus killed 140 of 2,000 susceptible birds, and the remaining ones were destroyed to stamp out the virus. Officials noted the farm had poor biosecurity practices.
The latest outbreak is Nigeria's 102nd avian influenza outbreak this year.
H5N6 detected again in Asia
Meanwhile, Vietnam reported two more outbreaks involving H5N6, both from Quang Ngai province in the central part of the country. Both occurred in backyard birds, with one event beginning on Nov 10 and the other on Nov 14.
Between the two locations, the virus killed 824 of 1,684 vulnerable birds. The rest were destroyed as an outbreak control measure. Similar outbreaks involving H5N6 struck Quang Ngai province over the summer.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong officials confirmed the H5N6 virus in a magpie robin found dead on Nov 17during intensive wild bird surveillance, according to an OIE report from yesterday. So far no spread of the virus has been found.
Nov 23 OIE report on H5N1 in Ghana
Nov 24 OIE report on H5N1 in Nigeria
Nov 23 OIE report on H5N6 in Vietnam
Nov 23 OIE report on H5N6 in Hong Kong