We continue to see reports out of both Vietnam (see Vietnam: More H5N6 Outbreaks In Poultry) and China (see China: H5N6 Outbreak In Heilongjiang Poultry) that the recently emerged H5N6 avian flu virus keeps popping up over a wide swath of Eastern Asia.
Previously low pathogenic versions of H5N6 have been reported around the world, including in the United States and Europe. But as we learned last Sunday (see Whole-Genome Sequence Of Reassortant H5N6 Avian Virus) this new HPAI virus is a far cry from its LPAI cousin – consisting of 7 parts HPAI H5N1 and 1 part H6N6.
HPAI H5N6 first emerged in Southern China last April in poultry, killing one person in Nanchong City (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu).
While one known human infection does not a pandemic threat make, HPAI H5N6 – unlike the HPAI H5N8 virus which ravaged South Korea’s poultry industry last winter – has shown at least some limited ability to jump to humans and cause serious disease, and that is enough to make this virus a potential public health concern.
For now, both subtypes are regarded as primarily threats to the poultry industry and this winter should tell us a lot about just how prevalent each is in the environment. Summer is usually the slow season of avian flu outbreaks.
Today VietnamPlus is reporting the fourth recent outbreak in Quang Ngai, a province we looked at two weeks ago with reported outbreaks (see Vietnam: More H5N6 Outbreaks In Poultry).
17/09/2014 | 10:54:44
The central province of Quang Ngai’s Steering Committee for cattle and poultry disease prevention, together with the Veterinary Sub-department, culled 1,000 A/H5N6 infected birds on September 16.
The infected birds were traced back to a poultry farm in Tin An Dong commune, Quang Ngai city. This is the fourth H5N6 bird flu virus case in the province.
The 40-day old flock had been vaccinated, but dozens of them died suspiciously and tested positive for the virus.
In order to prevent an outbreak spread, local authorities promptly destroyed the infected birds and sterilised the poultry farm to contain the virus. Furthermore, they informed residents not to consume infected poultry products.
According to the vice director of the Quang Ngai’s veterinary station, Nguyen Duc Kieu, the station has called upon the 23 localities to conduct supplementary A/H5N6 bird flu virus vaccination on their unvaccinated birds.
To date, local authorities have implemented a number of measures to prevent the outbreak of the virus and prevent poultry-to human transmission.-VNA