In the last two weeks, new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana and the Palestinian Autonomous Territories have been reported by their respective national veterinary authorities to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Avian influenza outbreaks continue in Taiwan, Vietnam
After a recent let-up in new outbreaks, Focus Taiwan reports that more than 20,600 native chickens died or been destroyed in the last few days in the county of Changhua. The cause of disease has been confirmed as the H5N2 highly pathogenic subtype of the avian influenza virus. Following the confirmation, local poultry keepers were urged to watch out of signs of disease in their birds and to tighten up biosecurity measures by Tung Meng-chih, the director of Changhua's Animal Disease Control Center.
According to a report in Asia One, Tung suggested that the latest outbreak might have been a resurgence in the virus following a previous outbreak in January. The farm only resumed operation last month after movement restrictions were lifted in July.
The veterinary authority in Vietnam has reported three new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian flu to the OIE in the last two weeks, all of which started this month. Two of the outbreaks were in Thai Binh and Tuyen Quang, north-eastern provinces of the country. Caused by the H5N6 variant of the virus, they affected backyard flocks and a total of 2,316 birds. A larger backyard flock was hit in the other outbreak, which was in Kon Tum province, which borders Laos and Cambodia. The H5N1 virus was confirmed there.
A week ago, it was confirmed that high-pathogenic avian influenza had returned to Laos for the first time in one and a half years.
Fears of influenza being transmitted to people from poultry have led to the authorities in Indonesia clamping down on birds kept in residential areas. Officials have destroyed five cages and confiscated 24 doves in the capital. “The cages are demolished and some of the birds destroyed. Raising birds in residential could spread some diseases including bird flu,” the Head of Jakarta Central Marine Agriculture and Food Security sub-department told Berita Jakarta.
Nigeria, Ghana suffer new outbreaks
Highly pathogenic avian flu returned to Ghana a month ago following a brief respite. The veterinary authority reported 2 new outbreaks of the disease caused by the H5N1 virus in the Western region in the southwest of the country. A backyard broiler flock was affected in late September and earlier in October, a farm in another district lost 4,731 layers to the disease.
H5N1 avian flu has hit a new state in Nigeria, with the first report of an outbreak in Jigawa, which is in the north of the country and borders Niger. In that outbreak, 4,000 laying hens died or were destroyed in the first week of October. With a history of outbreaks, Rivers state in the south of Nigeria was hit by two more cases, with one farm of 1,000 broilers and another with 2,500 layers in the following week.
A report received recently by the OIE from Palestine indicates that there was an outbreak of high-path avian flu in Gaza in early August. The presence of an H5 variant of the virus was confirmed but turmoil in the region means that further details are unavailable.