Weather blamed for Taiwan’s spike in avian flu cases

Eight new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported among the Taiwanese poultry sector, and the disease has returned to the north of Vietnam.

(mashi_naz, Bigstock)
(mashi_naz, Bigstock)

Eight new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported among the Taiwanese poultry sector, and the disease has returned to the north of Vietnam.

Only countries whose animal health agencies have officially reported outbreaks of HPAI to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) over the past week are Taiwan and Vietnam.

In the period June 24-28, there were five confirmed outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N2 virus variant in Taiwan, affecting more than 72,500 birds, all on farms. One of the outbreaks affected meat ducks, while all the others were in native chickens. There were clinical signs and mortalities in all of the flocks. Three of the farms were located in different towns in Yunlin county. The others were both in Dacheng, which is in Changhua, and they bring the total number of HPAI outbreaks in the county so far this year to 21.

Since the official report, local media have reported a further three confirmed outbreaks at poultry farms caused by the same virus. More than 7,500 birds have been culled in the Yunlin town of Dongshi following the detection of the virus, according to Taiwan News.

These latest cases bring the number of HPAI outbreaks in Taiwan so far this year to 35, with more than 461,000 poultry culled in the counties of Yunlin, Changhua, and Pingtung.

A recent sudden change in the weather in central and southern parts of Taiwan is being blamed for the sudden spike in new HPAI outbreaks by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).

From Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has informed OIE of the return of the H5N6 virus variant to the Red River Delta in a village poultry flock of around 1,000 birds on June 23. More than 30 birds died, and the rest have been destroyed. HPAI was last detected in Thai Binh province in March of this year.

According to MARD, an HPAI situation linked to the H5N1 virus in the Mekong River Delta region in the south of Vietnam has ended. The move follows a single reported outbreak among village poultry in Hau Giang province during the first week of May.

India’s agriculture ministry has declared to the OIE that the H5N1 HPAI situation in Bihar has been “resolved.” There were three outbreaks in backyard flocks in two districts of the eastern state between November of last year and early January.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.

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