News Scan for Jan 18, 2022

H5N1 avian flu in US, Europe, Africa
H9N2 avian flu cases in China
Hydroponic salad greens Salmonella

US detects H5N1 avian flu in wild duck as Europe, Africa note more H5N1

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Jan 14 announced that highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza was detected in a wild wigeon in South Carolina, marking the first time the Eurasian strain of the virus has been detected in the United States since 2016.

The finding follows the recent detection of high-path H5N1 in wild birds and poultry in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador region.

The bird was harvested by a hunter in Colleton County, located in the state's Lowcountry region on its southern coast, according to a statement from the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It was tested as part of ongoing active surveillance. According to a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the sample was collected on Dec 30.
Jan 14 APHIS statement
Jan 14 OIE report

In other avian flu developments, Croatia and Spain recently reported new H5N1 events in poultry, according to OIE reports. Croatia's outbreak began on Jan 10 at a backyard facility in Osijek-Baranja County that houses layers, ducks, and ornamental pigeons. The virus killed 13 of 52 susceptible birds, and the rest were culled to curb the spread of the virus.

Spain reported an H5N1 outbreak at a turkey farm in Castile and Leon region, which started on Jan 13 and killed 966 of 18,900 susceptible poultry.

In Africa, Togo reported an H5N1 outbreak at layer farm in Maritime region that began on Jan 1, killing 1,801 of 11,450 birds.
Jan 14 OIE report on H5N1 in Croatia
Jan 18 OIE report on H5N1 in Spain
Jan 15 OIE report on H5N1 in Togo


H9N2 avian flu infects 4 more in China

China recently reported four more human H9N2 avian flu infections, all involving children and all with November and December illness onsets, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said in its regular avian influenza update.

Two of the patients, a 3-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, are from Hubei province. The others include a 7-year-old girl from Jiangsu province and a 14-year-old girl from Guangxi province. The report didn't include any details about their exposure to the virus.

H9N2 is common in Asian poultry, and sporadic infections are known to occur in people who have contacts with poultry and poultry environments. Infections are mild and are typically reported in children. In November, however, China reported a fatal case in an adult—a 39-year-old man from Guizhou province.
Jan 18 CHP avian flu report


FDA details contamination clues in probe of hydroponic greens Salmonella

Marking the first investigation into an outbreak tied to a domestic hydroponic growing operation, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last week issued the findings related to a Salmonella Typhimurium event linked to prepackaged salad greens that sickened 31 people from four states last summer.

In earlier outbreak announcements, federal officials had identified the grower as Bright Farms, based in Rochelle, Illinois.

The FDA said though the root cause of the contamination was not identified. But it added that FDA and partner investigators identified several potentially contributing factors, including a different Salmonella serotype in pond water used to grow the leafy greens, as well as growth media storage practices, water management practices, and sanitation issues at the facility that weren't enough to prevent contamination.

Officials isolated the outbreak strain in a storm water basin next to the farm, but it wasn't clear if it was the source of the greens contamination. The FDA made several recommendations for the company and other similar growers, including ensuring that growing pond water is safe for its intended use.
Jan 14 FDA statement

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