Saturday, November 19, 2016

Japan: Testing Dead Hooded Crane At Izumi


Following up on yesterday's report of HPAI H5N6 being detected in roost water sampled from from around the Izumi crane migration grounds (in Kagoshima Prefecture), we now have a report of a dead hooded crane which has preliminarily tested positive for avian influenza. 
More detailed genetic testing is ongoing to determine the subtype, and pathogenicity, the results of which should be available in a few days. 

We are also awaiting test results on the two swans that died at Akita zoo, which has resulted in the culling of 132 birds, and that of the dead whooping swan found on the island of Hokkaido.

All of this comes on top yesterday's announcement of H5N6 Confirmed At Two Poultry Farms in South Korea.

First today's report from NHK News, then I'll be back with more on migratory birds and HPAI H5 viruses.

11/19 18:54

Find out positive bird flu virus died in the Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture wintering ground for the nation's largest crane, hooded crane 1. Found in wild birds is suspected of being infected with avian influenza this season, is second in the country, the Prefecture and Ministry of the environment is preparing further strengthen the monitoring situation of wild birds.

It is found the hooded crane bird according to the Kagoshima Prefecture, 18, died at Izumi, Kagoshima University by genetic testing were positive for bird flu virus.

Found in wild birds are infected with avian flu virus this season, in the second example followed by whooper Swan found in shibetsu, Hokkaido. Are just really was infected with virus or if do not know about the strength of the toxicity and at Kagoshima University for more inspections, a couple of days is that after the results are out.

Water collected in the rice paddies, Izumi City, vines have roosts with toxic H5N6 of avian influenza virus detected in 18 days, Ministry of the environment within a 10 km radius specifies priority monitoring area started patrolling.

It is found dead one hooded cranes and one Northern Pintail 19 days, according to the Ministry of the environment, the province has a bird flu or explore. Calling attention to the Ministry of the environment to prevent infection, dead birds and bird droppings do not touch with bare hands.

Although HPAI H5 was pretty much a no-show in Japan, North America, and Europe last winter, during the winter of 2014-15 H5N8 showed up in force in all three regions.

Why HPAI H5 took last winter off (except for endemic areas, like China, West Africa, Egypt, etc.) is a mystery, but it appears on track to make a big impact this winter. 

Waterfowl are considered the natural reservoir for low pathogenic influenza strains (LPAI), and while the carriage and spread of HPAI  viruses by migratory birds is no longer in doubt, exactly how they get into this avian population is still a matter for debate.
Since we know that LPAI viruses - when introduced into poultry - can sometimes mutate into HPAI viruses (see LPAI-to-HPAI Mutation Cited in January's H7N8 Outbreak), this makes a certain amount of sense. 
The idea is that because of immunity derived from their carriage of LPAI viruses, HPAI viruses in migratory birds tend to die out after a while, and must be periodically re-introduced from poultry. 

While this `fits' the facts as we currently know them, there is still a great deal we don't know about the genesis of HPAI viruses, and so this remains just a credible theory.
But even if correct, it wouldn't necessarily exclude other avenues of HPAI genesis (in wild birds, or other hosts), or for that matter, the future emergence of an HPAI virus that does persist in migratory birds.
The only constant with influenza viruses is that they are always changing.    
Given what we've already seen with H5N8 in Europe and H5N6 in Asia, and the likelihood of seeing outbreaks of H5N1 in Egypt and of H7N9 in China this winter, you may want to fasten your seat belts.
We could be in for a bumpy ride.


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