From the Netherlands this morning we have an announcement of an outbreak of reportedly `Mild' H5 bird flu on a poultry farm in Deurne (see map above).
At this point, we don't have a complete subtype identified, and it will probably take a day or so before we get a full description of the virus. The assumption at this time this is an LPAI H5 virus.
There are two broad categories of avian influenza; LPAI (Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza) and HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza).
- LPAI viruses are quite common in wild birds, cause little illness, and only rarely death. They are not considered to be a serious health to public health. The concern is (particularly with H5 & H7 strains) that LPAI viruses have the potential to mutate into HPAI strains.
- HPAI viruses are more dangerous, can produce high morbidity and mortality in wild birds and poultry, and can sometimes infect humans with serious result. The type of bird flu scientists have been watching closely for the past decade has been HPAI H5N1 (and to a lesser extent HPAI H7s & H9s).
Before the middle of the last decade, there was no uniform requirement to report or track LPAI infections. That changed in 2006 when the OIE made reporting of LPAI H5 & H7 viruses mandatory.
This from the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In Deurne (Noord-Brabant) is a poultry farm with 11,000 turkeys bird flu (avian influenza, AI) established. The company also 3,500 pheasants and 2,000 meat ducks housed. These animals are housed outside. It is probably a mild H5 variant.Because a low pathogenic (mild) H5 variant can mutate to a highly pathogenic (highly contagious and fatal for poultry) variant, the company has both a low- be culled as a highly pathogenic variant. This is based on European rules. The culling is carried out by the Dutch Food and Goods Authority (NVWA).
measuresFrom October 28, 2016 at 11:30 am there is a zone of over one kilometer around the holding in Deurne a ban on transporting poultry, eggs, poultry manure and used bedding. Within the area there are three other poultry farms. These companies are sampled and tested for avian influenza.