For the first time, the H5N1 serotype of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been detected in poultry in Indonesia.
In the first week of April, there were more than 4,400 cases in a village duck flock, according to the official notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The source of the infection is unknown, but the village is near to a pond frequented by wild birds. Not reported is the fate of the remaining 1,340 ducks of various ages at the village.
The outbreak occurred in South Kalimantan, which is the southernmost Indonesian province on the island of Borneo.
H5N1 virus detected again in eastern India
In the eastern Indian state of Bihar, poultry have tested positive for the same HPAI virus variant at two farms. This is according to an official report to the WOAH posted earlier this month, referring to outbreaks in March and April.
Theirst to be affected was a Regional Poultry Farm in the Bhagalpur district in mid-March, where 14 of the 11,787 birds are reported to have died. One month later, presence of the same virus was confirmed after two out of 392 poultry died at a small farm in Purnia. Although these two district are adjacent, the affected premises appear to be more than 50km apart.
According to the WOAH notification, the previous HPAI outbreak in Bihar closed in early February.
Further outbreaks recorded in Nepal
Over the past month, Nepal’s veterinary agency has registered with WOAH a further two farm outbreaks of HPAI.
In the first week of May, more than half of a flock of 10,245 laying hens died at one premises. Two weeks later, the virus was detected at another farm with 4,000 eight-week-old chickens. There, 3,400 of the bird died and the rest have been culled to prevent further spread of the infection.
Since January of this year, almost 79,000 poultry have been directly impacted by the H5N1 virus in Nepal. All of the outbreaks have occurred in the Bagmati Pradesh zone, within about 20km of the capital, Kathmandu.
Recently declaring to WOAH that the HPAI situation is “resolved” is the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Back in March of this year, one outbreak was registered in the southwestern district of Samtse. Affected were around 12,250 poultry and one wild bird at a premises described in the WOAH notification as a “backyard.” The location appears to be near to the border with India. No further cases have been detected in the area since April.
Other HPAI news from Asia
In recent days, Russia’s animal health authority has declared to WOAH that the HPAI situation “resolved” in one part of its Far Eastern federal district.
At the end of April, the H5N1 virus serotype was detected for the first time in poultry in the region of Amur. Affected was a backyard flock of 73 birds, according to an earlier notification. Source of the infection was unknown.
Two more wild birds in Taiwan have tested positive for the H5N1 virus. They bring to three the number of infected wild birds reported in the territory since January.
Meanwhile, WOAH has been notified by the Japanese authorities about a further 30 wild birds testing positive for the same virus serotype. Found dead at various locations, all were crows, and they bring to 1,325 the number of infections in the wild population in Japan since January of 2022. A further three crows are reported as infected with HPAI virus of the H5 family.
For the first time in Japan, a wild mammal has tested positive for the H5N1 virus in mid-April. Affected was a red fox found dead in the city of Sapporo on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido.
View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.