H5N8 appears in Nigeria, South Korea

Nigeria and South Korea report the first cases of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza, as the strain continues to infect European poultry after first emerging in wild waterfowl populations.

Nigeria reports H5N8 in mixed free-range birds

Nigeria reported H5N8 in a collection of guinea fowls, turkeys and pigeons in Danbare, located in Kano state in the north-central part of the country, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Fifteen birds died from the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and another 235 were culled in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading. The outbreak occurred on Nov 19 and is considered resolved.

The report said the bird owner purchased the live birds from a market. Nigeria is also battling outbreaks involving highly pathogenic H5N1, which is endemic in a handful of African nations.

Nigeria's outbreak marks the second H5N8 detection in Africa, which follows the recent confirmation of H5N8 in wild waterfowl in Tunisia.

H5N8 continues to appear on European farms

In other H5N8 news, Poland reported two more farm outbreaks of H5N8 over the weekend, according to a report today from the OIE. On Dec 16 in Glinik in the already-affected Lubuskie province, 419 birds died and another 35,766 were culled after H5N8 was detected at the facility. The next day, Dec 17, the virus was detected for the first time in Podkarpackie province, affecting a small flock of 52 infected birds and 20 susceptible birds were destroyed on a farm in Wapowce.

In Germany, H5N8 also appeared for the first time on farms, affecting three states: Lower Saxony, North Rhine Westfalia, and Saxony-Anhalt.  Though more than 500 wild birds across Germany have died from the virus in the last 2 months, these are the first occurrences of the disease in thousands of agricultural birds.

German authorities reported an H5N8 outbreak at a turkey farm in Lower Saxony state, killing 198 of 8,694 susceptible turkeys, according to a Dec 16 report to the OIE. The remaining birds were culled to curb the spread of the virus.

The virus has also been on a turkey farm in North Rhine Westfalia state and on a duck farm in Saxony-Anhalt state, Reuters reported today, citing regional officials.

A total of total of 7,600 turkeys and 14,000 turkey poults have to be culled after 10 turkeys were found sick on a farm in North Rhine Westphalia on Dec 16, according to media report in German translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board. An additional 100,000 birds live in the 10-kilmeteer surveillance zone surrounding the affected farm.

In Saxony-Anhalt, 9,500 ducks were culled on a farm in Moeser, and the report notes that holiday poultry sales in Germany could be affected.

Ukrainian officials yesterday reported three more H5 outbreaks, and testing is still underway to determine of those and an earlier H5 finding involve the H5N8 strain. According to an OIE report, the new outbreaks all occurred in Kherson province, where the virus was initially farm. Two are in backyard birds and another is in wild swans.

H5N8 in Korea, HPAI in Japan

For the first time this year, South Korea is reporting that H5N8 at a chicken farm south of Seoul, according to an official report translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog. It's unknown how many birds are infected at this time.

South Korea is currently experiencing a H5N6 outbreak, and this is the first time the two strains have appeared in the country concurrently. In 2014, H5N8 paralyzed South Korea's poultry industry.

On Friday, AFD said a fifth poultry farm in Japan had animals that tested positive for HPAI. The farm is located in the Miyazaki prefecture, in the southern part of the country. Though likely H5N6, laboratory analysis has yet to reveal the strain of HPAI.

See also:

Dec 17 OIE Nigeria report

Dec 18 AFD post

Dec 18 FluTrackers post

Dec 17 OIE Poland report

Dec 16 OIE Germany report

Dec 18 OIE Ukraine report

Dec 19 FluTrackers post

Dec 19 AFD South Korea post

Dec 19 AFD Japan post

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