Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Netherlands: Investigating Suspected HPAI H5N8 In Bird Deaths


Buried inside an announcement published today on the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs website advising poultry owners to keep birds indoors we learn that dead grebes and tufted ducks have been found near Monnickendam, and while testing is ongoing, H5N8 is suspected. 

What few details we have can be found inside the Letter to about Influenza A virus subtype H5N8 avian influenza in wild waterfowl which accompanies this announcement.

From that letter:

Today it was announced that the Netherlands avian influenza of the H5 established by dead grebes and tufted ducks, found near Monnickendam. Further analysis will show whether this concerns Influenza A virus subtype H5N8 HPAI.

I have therefore today the expert group convened to animal diseases assess and advise me about that situation. The main conclusions that they have drawn, are:
  • There is currently a significant risk to the Dutch poultry sector for the introduction of the Influenza A virus subtype H5N8 virus.
  • To prevent the introduction of poultry farms have strict industrial hygiene and rural indoor confinement added value.
  • An active monitoring of live wild waterfowl is important and can contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of avian influenza in Netherlands and Europe.
The full report will shortly on the website be placed.

This announcement comes in the wake of the discovery of bird die offs due to HPAI H5N8 in Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Austria (see DEFRA: Updated Outbreak Assessment - Avian Influenza (H5N8) in Europe) over the past few days.

Van Dam State Secretary for Economic Affairs just before the Netherlands set a ophok- and guard duty for all companies that keep birds intended for the production of meat, eggs or other products and for the release into the wild. This measure is taken as a precaution after it was found in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland in wild birds, highly pathogenic avian influenza of the type of Influenza A virus subtype H5N8. Also in the Netherlands are dead wildfowl found with suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza. The animals are further examined at this time.


The measure is taken on the advice of experts in order to prevent companies from getting infected in the Netherlands. Also established in parts of Germany is a ophok- and guard duty. The Secretary of State urges to take the poultry urgently extra hygiene. It should for example include the minimization of the number of visitors to a poultry farm.
The Secretary of State has asked the Erasmus Medical Center this fall to some specific species of live wild waterfowl to actively monitor. This can provide additional information about the spread of the Influenza A virus subtype H5N8 virus in wild waterfowl Dutch population.

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