10 million poultry lost to avian flu in the Philippines

Officials in the Philippines have registered a total of 278 HPAI outbreaks in poultry since the start of 2022.

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At a recent event, it was reported that 10 million chickens have been culled in the Philippines as a result of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). South Korea has registered its first infections in cats, and another poultry owner in China has become infected with the H5N6 virus. 

As many as 10 million chickens have been culled in the Philippines due to avian influenza, reported PhilStar. Most of the infections are in the Central Luzon region, in the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga, according to AGAP party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones.

So far, he said, the disease has not impacted Batangas. Located in the Calabarzon region, further south on the island of Luzon, this province has 15 million laying hens. It is regarded as the country’s “egg capital.”

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the Philippines’ authorities have registered a total of 278 HPAI outbreaks in poultry since the start of 2022.

Of these, 250 have been on the island of Luzon. In total, around 2.2 million poultry have been directly involved in the reported outbreaks.

As well as the widely circulating H5N1 variant, the H5N6 virus serotype was detected in one duck flock earlier this year.  

Update on avian flu situation in India, Nepal

In three Indian states, the HPAI situation in wild birds has officially been declared as “resolved.” This is according to the latest notifications from the national veterinary agency to WOAH.

Declarations apply to earlier outbreaks linked to the H5N8 virus serotype. These caused mass mortalities of crows at two locations in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in 2020 and 2021, as well as in Rajasthan in the northwest of India.

Also regarded as ended are two outbreak series linked to the H5N1 variant. In 2021, presence of this virus was confirmed in one goose in the northern state of Punjab, as well as a mass mortality of wild birds including 245 cranes in Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, recent WOAH notifications from Nepal indicate no new cases of HPAI involving the circulating H5N1 HPAI virus.

So far this year, the authorities have confirmed 18 outbreaks in poultry flocks and the mortality of 20 crows at one location. All the affected premises appear to be in or near the capital, Kathmandu.

South Korea reports first infected cats

For the first time in the country, South Korea has confirmed that cats have been infected with the H5N1 HPAI virus.

Found to be carrying the infection in early July were two feral domestic cats in the capital, Seoul, according to the WOAH notification.  

The animals, which were at an animal shelter, showed no symptoms, according to the agriculture ministry. So far, the source reports no infections in people or other animals but the facility will continue to be monitored for 10 days. A nationwide program of surveillance is being planned.

According to the ministry, cases of infection with the H5N6 virus were detected in South Korean cats in 2016. No human cases were identified. 

One more human infection in China

In the Western Pacific region, one new case of influenza A virus of avian origin in China has been confirmed to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Linked to the avian influenza A(H5N6) virus was an infection in a 64-year-old man in Guilin city in the southern province of Guangxi. He kept poultry, which is implied to be the source of his infection. Earlier this month, he was admitted to hospital, where his condition was described as “serious.” No further cases have been detected in the man’s family.

This case brings to 86 the number of lab-confirmed infections with this virus in the Western Pacific region reported to WHO since 2014. Of these, 33 patients have died.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.

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