Sudden spread of avian flu in Poland, Vietnam

In Poland and Vietnam, the avian flu situation appears to have deteriorated sharply, as more outbreaks are confirmed in new areas of each country. There are also further cases in Bulgaria and Taiwan, and details have emerged about a recent outbreak in India.

(sharafmaksumov | Bigstock)
(sharafmaksumov | Bigstock)

In Poland and Vietnam, the avian influenza situation appears to have intensified, as more outbreaks are confirmed in new areas of each country. There are also further cases in Bulgaria and Taiwan, and details have emerged about a recent outbreak in India.

Avian influenza in Vietnamese poultry

During this month, two variants of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus — the H5N1 and H5N6 subtypes — have been detected among poultry in Vietnam.

More than 100,000 poultry across 10 of the country’s provinces/cities have been culled so far this year, according to Xinhua. Citing information from the agriculture ministry, it reports a total of 34 outbreaks of HPAI so far this year. In 2019, 133,000 birds were culled in 41 districts of 24 provinces/cities.

Further details on the HPAI situation is provided by the latest official reports from Vietnam to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Since the first confirmed outbreak in mid-January, the H5N6 virus variant has been confirmed in 29 outbreaks among village poultry flocks. These have directly involved almost 65,000 birds in eight provinces/cities in the north of the country.

Over the past week, the agriculture ministry has reported to the OIE 13 outbreaks confirmed in the period February 15-21. More than 4,000 of the birds died, and over 21,000 more were destroyed. Among the latest outbreaks were the first in Ninh Binh, Thai Binh, and Hai Phong. The affected areas are in the regions of the Red River Delta, and North Central Coast as well as the Northeastern Region, where the first outbreak occurred this year.

For the H5N1 variant of HPAI, Vietnam’s official totals for this year have reached five outbreaks, and more than 15,400 head of poultry have been lost through mortality or culling. So far, all cases have been in the far south of the country.

In the past week, the agriculture ministry has recorded three new H5N1-related outbreaks — two in the previously affected province of Tra Vinh (Mekong Delta region), and the first case in Binh Duong (Southeast region). These latest outbreaks also involved village flocks totaling 13,700 birds, around 7,000 of which died.

India confirms HPAI outbreak in Odisha

India’s agriculture ministry has now confirmed to the OIE local reports of HPAI in the eastern state of Odisha in January.

Linked to the H5N1 virus variant, the outbreak was at the poultry breeding farm of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology. More than 2,370 birds were affected — including 2,146 at the farm and a further 226 within one kilometer. Over 1,340 birds died, and around 1,000 more were culled.

One H5N5 HPAI outbreak confirmed in Taiwan

In mid-February, the H5N5 HPAI virus was detected in a flock of around 33,600 native chickens. More than 1,000 of the birds had died, and the rest were destroyed, according to the OIE report from the Council of Agriculture. The farm was in Kouhu township in Yunlin County. This flock had also tested positive for the H5N2 virus.

This brings Taiwan’s total outbreaks linked to this HPAI virus to 12. The first cases were detected in a flock of ducks in Kaohsiung city in September of 2019.

Poland reports spread of HPAI on poultry farms

In the past week, the agriculture ministry has reported to the OIE seven new HPAI outbreaks linked to the H5N8 virus subtype—all on farms. In the period February 7-22, more than 170,000 poultry were lost to the disease in these outbreaks, including 35,000 birds that died. Affected premises were spread across five provinces in central Poland, including the first cases in Opole and Lodz.

Based on reports sent to the OIE, these latest outbreaks bring the country’s total since the end of January to 19, but it may already have reached 24. Direct losses of poultry are approaching 360,000. As well as Opole and Lodz, outbreaks have been confirmed in the provinces of Greater Poland, West Pomerania, Lower Silesia, Silesia, and Warmia-Masuria.

Third outbreak in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s animal health agency has reported two new outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N8 virus subtype. As with the initial outbreak, the disease was detected at two farms in the Plovdiv region in the center of the country.

Latest to be affected were flocks of around 55,000 and 11,600 birds. They bring the total losses of poultry through mortality and culling so far to almost 83,000.

HPAI 'resolved' in Germany’s wild birds

According to the latest official report to the OIE, the HPAI situation among the German wild bird situation has been “resolved.” The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture made the declaration after the H5N8 HPAI virus was detected in a single water bird in Brandenburg in mid-January.

The same virus was subsequently found in backyard poultry in western Germany.

View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.

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