Nigeria reports 4 H5N1 outbreaks as Korea details 12 H5N8 events
Nigeria yesterday notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of four outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu affecting more than 31,000 poultry, while South Korea yesterday reported 12 outbreaks of H5N8 avian flu involving more than 140,000 birds that occurred in September and October.
In one OIE report yesterday, Nigerian officials said three outbreaks were in Anambra, Rivers, and Bayelsa states in the south, while a second report covers an outbreak in the north, in Kano. The affected farms in the south ranged in size from 4,000 to 22,800 chickens, while the Kano outbreak involved a backyard flock of 136 egg-laying hens, all of which died from the disease.
Of the 31,636 poultry involved in all four outbreaks, 2,989 birds died and the rest were culled to prevent disease spread. Two outbreaks began on Nov 4, with the others starting on Nov 11.
Nov 16 OIE report on 3 Nigeria outbreaks
Nov 16 OIE report on Kano outbreak
All of the H5N8 outbreaks in South Korea are in the southern part of the country, with 10 in South Jeolla province and the rest in the city of Gwangju. The events began from Sep 16 to Oct 27.
All affected premises are listed as farms, but four of them held flocks ranging from just 10 to 60 birds. The other flocks varied in size from 10,298 to 27,300 poultry. Unlike in Nigeria, none of the birds died from the virus, which is classified as highly pathogenic. All the birds on the 12 farms—144,809 of them—were euthanized to prevent disease spread.
Nov 16 OIE report on South Korea
WHO: Global flu activity still low
Global flu activity remains low, with some increased activity in Cuba and some Middle East and South Asian countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an update yesterday.
In the Northern Hemisphere, flu activity is low, with sporadic detections, the agency said. Flu is also at low levels in Africa.
Influenza is also quiet in the tropical regions of the Americas, except in Cuba, where "high numbers" of severe respiratory infections are occurring, led by 2009 H1N1 flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Bahrain and Qatar are reporting increased flu activity, primarily caused by 2009 H1N1. That virus is also causing increased flu in India, Laos, and Thailand. Flu continued to decrease in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as the Southern Hemisphere's flu season winds down, the WHO noted.
Despite the pockets of H1N1 activity, H3N2 accounted for most of the recently tested flu viruses. Among 1,343 samples that were positive for influenza, 78% were influenza A and 22% flu B. Of the 517 "A" viruses tested, 68% were H3N2 and 32% 2009 H1N1.
Nov 16 WHO update