Last Saturday in FAO EMPRES: Risk Assessment For Spread Of H5N1 In The Middle East we looked at a risk assessment on the potential for the introduction of H5N1 HPAI from recently infected countries (Lebanon and Iraq) to other countries in the Middle East.
You may recall that over the summer we saw several million birds either killed by, or because of, H5N1 avian flu in Wasit and Baghdad Provinces.
Today, the Voice of Iraq newspaper is carrying an Arabic report quoting Dr Salah Fadhil Abbas, Director General, Veterinary Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture of Iraq as calling avian flu `endemic' in Iraq, while also reassuring their outbreak is now under control.
Assurances aside, Dr. Abbas also identifies the clade in Iraq as being 18.104.22.168c, which has gained both notoriety and substantial geographic territory since it emerged in China several years ago.
Clade 22.214.171.124c is viewed as being particularly worrisome because of some of the host adaptations it has acquired, something we looked at last July in V. Sinica: HPAI H5N1 Clade 126.96.36.199c Virus in Migratory Birds, 2014–2015.
First the report from VOI, then I'll be back with a bit more.
Veterinary: Anfelonzha birds has become endemic in Iraq, and we will announce next month to control it
3:02:50 p.m. 9/27/2016 | (Voice of Iraq) - Baghdad ,
announced the Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Department, on Tuesday, that the disease Anfelonzha birds has become endemic in Iraq, while confirming that the announcement of the control of the disease would be next October.
Salah said Fadhil Abbas , the department said that " the department began after the date of the Director July 12 the process of investigation and monitoring for infection after the cessation of spreading infection in the fields and the provincial disease Anfelonzha birds , "noting that" Iraq will announce the final control of the infection in the 11 next October and will reach international organizations to remove his name from the list , which is installed by as states infected with this disease. "
He added Abbas said " the investigation and monitoring process are not only in the development of the area which appeared his recent unity and Tajuddin hand , but in all the provinces of Iraq , " adding that it "acts of daily ongoing exercise by the veterinary hospitals for research and investigation of injury in the event of their appearance."
He stressed Abbas " the disease Anfelonzha birds has become endemic in Iraq , " he said . "Our labs have shown that the genetic sequences isolated the virus from the fields is the 2321c is similar to viruses isolated in China, Bulgaria, Vietnam, India, Nigeria and Pakistan."
he added that " the emergence of the disease twice in Kurdistan , in the middle of the year 2015 and the end of the same year, and his appearance is also in a new Shat in Diyala and Tarmiya in 2016, and finally appearing in the crown of religion and the hand of unity in the month of June proved that the virus has become endemic in Iraq because the injuries were repeated , but the control of the disease has become a reality. "
(Continue . . . )
A check of the MOA website confirms a major bird flu conference was just held in Iraq (see Under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture held a workshop on a campaign to control the high-pathogenic avian flu), but the MOH report provides few specifics.
While Iraq may gain bird-flu-free status later this fall, they remain vulnerable to reintroduction of the virus from migratory birds, and flare-ups of the virus once the weather turns colder.