Although it isn't getting much attention outside of Germany, there are growing concerns today that a `second wave' of avian flu may be opening up in Europe after Monday's announcement of HPAI H5N5 Detected In German Poultry Operation.
This new virus - an apparent reassortment from HPAI H5N8 - has been described as `highly aggressive', and on Tuesday prompted Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) - to publish an updated risk assessment on HPAI in Germany (see FLI Risk Assessment On HPAI H5).
Today, the Landesportal Schleswig Holstein has announced the detection of HPAI H5N5 at poultry operations at two more locations; Grevenkop and Elskop. Both farms are apparently owned by the same company as the first outbreak.
This (translated) report from the Schleswig-Holstein Agriculture Ministry:
Avian influenza is spreading
The avian influenza in a turkey factory in the district of Steinburg has expanded. About 15,300 animals in two other poses must be killed.
After the poultry pester of the subtype H5N5 was detected in a poultry keeping in the district of Steinburg on Monday, further holdings of the same plant are affected. The National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, the Friedrich Löffler Institute, also showed the virus in the night to Thursday in the sites of Grevenkop and Elskop.
The avian influenza regulation prescribes that the remaining 15,300 animals of the plant have to be killed. Previously, 18,400 animals of the Steinburg factory had already been killed or died.
The two sites were closed off. In order to protect the animals from being carried over, third parties are prohibited from entering the site. The Kreis Steinburg extended the Sperrzzirk and the observation area around the enterprise. He also triggered catastrophic alarms in order to be able to approach additional staff at the police, fire brigade and other auxiliary staff in the short term.
First detection of H5N5 in poultry farming
The Friedrich-Löffler-Institut has, at the request of the country, sent an expert team to the district of Steinburg to clarify the cause of the outbreak. All possible entry and dissemination routes are examined.
The virus is the subtype H5N5, which has not yet occurred in any European animal husbandry up to the occurrence in the poultry keeping in Steinburg. It is highly aggressive, as is the case with the H5N8 exciter responsible for the avian influenza outbreaks. In the first turkeys, more than half of the 3,400 animals died of the disease within 48 hours, all others having disease symptoms.