With the onset of winter we are starting to see an uptick in both LPAI (low pathogenic) and HPAI (high pathogenic) avian flu outbreaks in Europe, with Italy being the latest to report activity. LPAI viruses are commonly found in wild and migratory birds, often only producing mild symptoms in poultry.
The concern is - when LPAI H5 and H7 viruses are not quickly controlled - they have the potential to mutate into highly pathogenic strains.
Over the past few months we’ve seen (quite unusually) three such conversions from LPAI to HPAI in Europe (see DEFRA: France’s HPAI H5N1 Another Mutated LPAI Strain), adding renewed impetus for quick reporting and eradication.
This latest outbreak takes place at a turkey farm in Emilia Romagna, a region heavily affected by avian influenza (notably H7N7 in 2013) in the past, and at high risk suffering major losses should the virus spread. Accordingly, the government has ordered `exceptional monitoring’ for nearby turkey farms.
This report from http://www.anmvioggi.it/ Ministero della Salute DIREZIONE GENERALE DELLA SANITA’ ANIMALE E DEI FARMACI VETERINARI attached as a PDF.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 16:17
Outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza in the province of Forlì-Cesena. By the Ministry of Health updates on the measures and checks.
Serotype H5N2 in samples taken in self-control of turkeys at a farm located in the Municipality of Meldola (Forlì-Cesena), Region Emilia Romagna. The confirmation came on November 30 by the National Reference Centre at the IZS delle Venezie, after RT-PCR and gene sequencing. The animals showed a mild respiratory symptoms.
In accordance with the requirements of current legislation (Legislative Decree no. 9/2010 implementing Directive 2005/94 / EC) the veterinary services responsible for the area have been responsible for seizure, with block the movements in and out of the farm, slaughter of (about 21,850 animals) to be followed by cleaning and disinfection. It 'was also set up a restricted area of 1 km radius of the company.
In making information, the Directorate General for Animal Health adds that further checks are being epidemiologically related farms, taking into account that the farm belongs to a large poultry sector. The Emilia Romagna - the statement concludes ministeriale- ordered an exceptional monitoring, for the moment only in farms that raise turkeys in the chain, which provides pre-loading samples within 4 days prior to the first shipment (male and female) to be repeated every 4 days, all withdrawals in turkey farms in the supply chain with animals over 4 weeks, control cards mortality and consumption of food, checks at the slaughterhouse.
Even companies that have had contact with the epidemiological outbreak will be impounded precaution and brought under control with immediate verification of reproductive parameters, blood tests and tracheal swabs, samples of dead animals on the farm.