Updated : 2000 HRS 12/6
According to media reports, the strain has been identified as H5N2. We won’t know until at least Monday whether this is a low pathogenic or high pathogenic strain.
Although test results aren’t expected until tomorrow (Monday), authorities have quarantined a farm and have begun culling thousands of birds at a farm in the Cham district of Bavaria (near the Czech border) due to a suspected outbreak of avian flu.
At this point we have no word of the suspected subtype or pathogenicity.
First, a statement from the Landkreis (District of) Cham, after which I’ll return with a bit more:
Message from 06/12/2015
District Office arranges a precautionary evacuation of the stock as part of a routine monitoring survey of domestic fowl (Landkreis Cham) were at a poultry farm in the town of Roding applicable laboratory findings that speak for an infection of the animals with the pathogen of avian influenza. After further investigation by the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL) and the national reference laboratory, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute for Animal Health (FLI) concerns about the current situation of an official finding of avian influenza.
What type of avian influenza is present, is being released on the basis of further laboratory tests at the FLI. The Landratsamt Cham has immediately on Friday has the blocking of the property concerned. Because the pathogen is easily transferable to animals, neither animals nor animal products may be moved out of the property. For the same reason restrictions also apply to passenger services in the area of the property concerned.
After the avian Regulation the immediate culling of all poultry holdings is already the presence of a suspected case of the disease hygiene reasons to carry out on the farm. It is a company with about 12,900 animals (laying hens, ducks, geese and turkeys). The Landratsamt Cham has initiated the preparations for the killing in coordination with the farmer on Saturday. The Government of Upper Palatinate, the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection and the State Office for Health and Food Safety are involved. A specialized company has today begun the slaughter of animals under strict hygienic measures and in compliance with the animal protection regulations. The slaughtered animals shall be disposed of in a rendering plant. After completion of the action are to extensive cleaning and disinfection operations. The Landratsamt Cham Recalls that it is in the avian influenza by a notifiable animal disease. The control measures to prevent the spread of the pathogen to other livestock.
The health department at the District Office Cham stresses that the health of the population is generally not at risk from avian influenza. This also applies to the consumption of poultry meat and eggs. For more information, especially on issues relating to the safety of food for humans, can be found on the website of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment http://www.bfr.bund.de/ de / O z_index / avian-4969.html # fragment-2, the Bavarian State Office for Health and the Robert Koch Institute www.rki.de. In addition, the District Office Cham has established a citizen phone health issues. It can be contacted at the telephone number 09971 / 78-450 and indeed today, 06/12/2015, to 18 clock and on Monday during regular office hours.
The poultry farmers in unaffected areas can through biosecurity measures to contribute to the spread of disease afford. This includes in particular, unclear diseases or death in poultry by the fastest possible test for avian influenza to be clarified. In all suspected cases immediately to inform the competent veterinary. The Landratsamt Cham is asking all residents and the media urgently to avoid the area of the operation concerned, in order not to hamper control measures.
Although the possible return of HPAI H5N1 and H5N8 have been the biggest bird flu concerns for Europe this fall, in recent months we’ve also seen several unusual avian flu outbreaks involving other strains and subtypes, all of which has Europe even more alert for possible outbreaks.
Last July, in both Lancashire (England) and Emsland (Germany) low path H7 avian flu outbreaks turned into highly pathogenic strains, and we saw the same thing happen with an LPAI H5N1 strain in France last month (see DEFRA: France’s HPAI H5N1 Another Mutated LPAI Strain).
We are still awaiting a full analysis of the HPAI H5N2 reported last week in France (see ECDC: Situation Overview Of Emergent H5N1 & H5N2 In France), but that may also fall into this rare category.
While most of these subtypes (other than the Eurasian H5N1) have not shown an ability to infect or sicken humans, they area all capable of inflicting considerable damage on the poultry industry, and the economy.
All of which helps to explain the aggressive response we are seeing mounted in Germany today.