Wednesday, November 23, 2016

South Korea Raises H5N6 Alert Level As Virus Spreads

  • South Korea Raises Alert To 2nd Highest Level
  • Largest Poultry Producing Area Now Suspect
  • CDC Issues More Health Advisories


Although the number of confirmed poultry farms with confirmed H5N6 outbreaks appears unchanged from yesterday's report (n=4), the number of farms reporting sick or dead birds (tests pending) have increased, so today South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture (MAFRA) raised the nation's alert level.

This from the MAFRA website:

AI Crisis Upgraded from 'Attention' to 'Boundary' Level Posted 

2016-11-23 16:10:00
◈ On November 16, 2002, in response to the AI ​​suspicious report from the Gyeonggi Pocheon in Gyeonggi Province, it received a written review (11.23)

① Upgrading crisis alarm: Upgrading from current "Caution" to "Border"

* Crisis alert (stage 4): Interest → Attention → Boundary → Severe stage
② Expansion and operation of the National Countermeasures Headquarters and the Situation Room according to the AI ​​Emergency Action Guidelines (SOP)
* The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is establishing and running the AI ​​Prevention Headquarters (General Manager, Food and Agriculture Minister) (11.18 ~)
(3) Attempts to establish and control the connection to the main roads, control of farm household gatherings
◈ The livestock pest control council (11.24) will be held, and the prevention plan will be deliberated such as issuing a nationwide temporary stop command
◈ It is recommended that all of the staffs of the poultry breeding farms thoroughly disinfect, control access to outsiders' vehicles, refrain from livestock farming gathering, restrict visits to migratory birds,

According to Korean media reports this morning, this move to upgrade the alert level came after AI was suspected in the nation's largest poultry producing region.

Expansion of bird flu in Korea, suspected infection even in the largest chicken production area

TBS JNN News i - Wednesday, November 23 (Wed) 

In South Korea where infection of avian influenza is rapidly expanding, suspicion of infection was reported even in the biggest chicken production area, and the response was raised to "warning" level.

"H5N6 type, it seems to be more pathogenic than the type that occurred in the past" (a meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock Foods)

Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock and Foods announced that suspicion of H5N6 avian influenza was reported in the northern part of Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi-do), South Korea's largest chicken breeding house with 10 million new birds.

In Korea, infections are rapidly spreading in various places since the middle of this month, and 520,000 birds such as chickens have been killed so far. In H5N6 type, rare cases of infections to people have been reported, and in China this person died one person.

The Korean government will raise its alert level as "concern for further expansion" and decide to set up a headquarters for all local governments. (23th 18: 58)
In the spring of 2014, over a period of about 5 months, Korea lost more than 15 million birds to HPAI H5N8.  Something which should help put the above quote regarding H5N6's pathogenicity into some sort of context.

Complicating matters, unlike H5N8, H5N6 has a limited track record of causing human infection, with many cases being fatal.  

While not currently viewed as a major threat to the general public, for the thousands of people who are involved with the culling and disposal of infected birds, this is a genuine risk.

Today, with the increase in alert level, the Korean CDC upgraded their messaging on preventing H5N6 infection.

AI crisis Prevention of human infection according to upgrade (attention → boundary)
◇ Central H5N6 AI Constitution of anti-human infection countermeasures, active measures to prevent human infection
◇ People in general have strict personal hygiene such as visiting farm animals, migratory birds, hand washing, etc.
◇ Poultry farm workers should wear personal protective clothing for personal hygiene and work.

□ The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock Food and Agriculture will upgrade the AI ​​(bird flu) crisis stage from "Attention" to "Border", and the central and local governments will strengthen the AI ​​infection control measures and take measures to prevent human infection more thoroughly And asked the general public to observe preventive measures such as visiting livestock farmers, migratory birds, hand washing, and so on.

○ In the case of H5N6 AI, 16 cases (16.11.22) of human cases were reported in China, the disease management headquarters decided that high risk group * which directly contacted with AI poultry had possibility of human infection, And it is said that it is preventing human infection by thoroughly wearing anti-viral agent and personal protective equipment.
* AI-farmers, livestock-takers, response personnel, etc.

○ The general public is unlikely to come into contact with wild birds or AI-farmers, and the possibility of human infection is extremely low. H5N6 AI has not been reported so far, so the possibility of large scale spread is very low. However, in case of the occurrence of the patient, it was specified that the country designated sound pressure bed by the region.

□ The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

○ The 'H5N6 AI Human Infection Containment Task Force' has been in operation since November 11, and dispatches epidemiological investigators to the site where the AI ​​is generated, and provides expert technical support for preventive management of the AI ​​human infection infection task force .

○ Disease control headquarters were dispatched to poultry farms in Gyeonggi Province, Pocheon, Chungbuk Province, Chungcheong Province, Asan, Chuncheon, Jeonbuk, Gimje and Jeonnam, Muan and Haenam regions where H5N6 type highly pathogenic AI · Provides guidance on anti-viral agents and personal protective equipment for high-risk groups such as those who dispose of slaughterers and counterparts, seasonal influenza vaccination, and personal hygiene education.

□ In addition, AI emphasized the importance of active cooperation among the people in order to infect humans.

○ In order to prevent AI infection, general citizens should refrain from visiting livestock farmers or migratory birds, thoroughly follow personal hygiene rules such as washing hands for 30 seconds or more,

○ Livestock farmers and their families pay special attention to personal hygiene, wear proper work clothes when entering the barn, and promptly report them to the Livestock Protection Agency (1588-4060, 1588-9060) when the suspicious axis of AI is found .

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