Over the past three weeks we've seen repeated warnings over the possibility that H5N1 may proliferate across the Middle East, along with concerns that H5N8 may eventually arrive there as well.
Two weeks ago, in FAO/EMPRES: H5N8 Clade 22.214.171.124 Detected Over Summer In Russia, we looked at a follow up on reports from earlier in the summer that H5N8 had been detected in Russia, and the parallels to H5N1's expansion out of Southeast Asia a little over a decade ago.
A couple of days later we saw a Risk Assessment For Spread Of H5N1 In The Middle East released by the FAO, which warned that the recent outbreaks in Iraq and Lebanon could spread to neighboring countries.
Like H5N8, H5N1 may be carried by wild and migratory birds, and the Middle East lies under a major flyway that connects Russia and Siberia with West Africa, and this is the time when many birds are headed south for the winter.
Although there are two annual migrations (spring and fall) to worry about, a recent report (see Sci Repts.: Southward Autumn Migration Of Waterfowl Facilitates Transmission Of HPAI H5N1) pegs the fall migration as the biggest risk for the spread of HPAI by migratory birds.
So it is not all that surprising that we have the following report, published by Xinhua News, on the discovery of H5N1 in quail in the UAE.
UAE capital Abu Dhabi reports bird flu cases
Source: Xinhua 2016-10-05 04:16:24
DUBAI, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Abu Dhabi emergency and crisis management team announced on Tuesday it detected a number of bird flu-infected quays, reported the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state news agency WAM.
Bird flu, also known as avian influenza or H5N1, is a highly pathogenic virus, and caused substantial outbreaks in domestic poultry in the Middle East and parts of Asia.
The first human infection was reported in Hong Kong in 1997.
The cases were found in an area in the "Al-Gharbia" western region of the Gulf state.
The emergency and crisis management took the "necessary measures" consistent with international standards and regulations in handing such cases, said the WAM report.
The team said precautionary measures were also taken to ensure continuous monitoring of the cases in coordination with other stakeholders.
Furthermore, the team called on bird and farm owners to contact Abu Dhabi's government call center if they suspect poor health conditions of their birds, in order to learn about the necessary tests their birds need.
The team affirmed that these precautionary measures aim to ensure the safety of bird and farm owners and the community's safety as the H5N1 is fatal to most birds.