Saturday, November 05, 2016

DEFRA: Avian H5 & H7 In Europe


Although posted just yesterday, this UK DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) report is current through the 31st of October, and therefore does not include the H5N8 outbreak at a Hungarian turkey farm I reported yesterday.

After first appearing in Europe during the Fall of 2014, the HPAI H5N8 virus failed to return last winter.  This year, however, it appears once again on the move, and has been detected in India, Russia, and most recently Hungary.

This DEFRA update describes H5N8 and several other recent H5 & H7 outbreaks in Europe and advises all poultry keepers to:
 `maintain high standards of biosecurity, remain vigilant and report any suspect clinical signs promptly. Poultry keepers should also remind themselves of the mild clinical signs of LPAI infection and be aware of any changes in egg production, feed and water intake or rise in mortality.'

You'll find some excerpts below, but follow the link to read the report in its entirety.

Preliminary Outbreak Assessment
Avian Influenza (H5 and H7 strains) in Europe
31October 2016 Ref: VITT/1200 Avian Influenza in Europe

Disease Report

The Hungarian authorities have confirmed HPAI H5N8 in a (wild) Mute Swan by a lake in Csongrad region, a well-known rest place for migratory birds at this time of year (European Commission, 2016). This is the first report of HPAI H5N8 this year in the EU and follows the case in wild birds in Central Russia reported in June 2016 (Defra, 2016) after which the FAO warned of the likely further spread and increase in risk to areas with migratory birds in Europe (Empres Watch, 2016). The same subgroup or clade ( of H5 viruses was also detected in USA (Alaska) in August 2016 in wild mallards (EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, 2016).

In other unrelated disease reports, the Netherlands has confirmed an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza, H5 (N type not determined) in turkeys in Deurne, Limburg (OIE, 2016). The holding contained approximately 12,000 turkeys, 5,000 ducks and 2,000 pheasant; no clinical signs were observed. Disease control measures are in place, and a 1km restriction zone has been established in line with Directive 2005/94/EC. The birds have been depopulated. The four other premises in the 1km zone have been screened. 

In an unlinked incident, the German authorities reported an outbreak of LPAI H7N3 in captive birds in Mannheim on 18th October to the European Union Animal Disease Notification System. According to the local German Government website, disease was detected in pheasants and a further 52 birds (ducks, guinea fowl and peacocks) were humanely destroyed to prevent further spread of the virus (,-Vogelgrippe-im-Mannheimer-Luisenpark-Noch-mehr-Tiere-getoetet-_arid,230233.html).

Situation Assessment

The finding in Hungary is significant because the virus was last detected in the EU in early 2015 (including two incidents of wild Mute Swans in Sweden collected in February/March [EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, 2016]), indicating that it may not have returned with wild birds last winter, with a strong caveat regarding sensitivity of surveillance in wild bird populations. These reports, alongside that from Russia in June, indicate that this particular virus is circulating in wild birds which may transport it over wide distances through the migration routes. This particular subgroup or clade of H5 HPAI virus does not always show high mortality in wild birds and the presence in new regions may be detected first in clinically susceptible poultry species where there has been direct or indirect contact with infected wild birds.

Low pathogenicity viruses of H5 and H7 European strains circulate in wild birds and occasionally cause spill-over into poultry or captive birds in the EU. Early detection and swift control measures are necessary to prevent spread and reduce the likelihood of the viruses mutating in poultry to a highly pathogenic strain. In June there was an outbreak of LPAI H7N9 avian influenza in poultry in Friesland in the northern Netherlands; this was the European strain of virus and not related to the virus circulating in poultry in China and causing human cases.

According to TRACES, the EU Electronic Trade Notification System, there has been no recent trade of live poultry, hatching eggs or day old chicks from the affected regions in the Netherlands, Germany or Hungary to the UK. Meat and table eggs are lower risk commodities and provided they are not diverted from the human food chain do not represent a risk to poultry. The outbreak in Germany is restricted to a zoo and has not been detected in poultry.
      (Continue . . . )

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