Sunday, February 05, 2017

H5N8 & H5N1: Murmurs From The Middle East


As I mentioned yesterday in The Skies Aren't They Only Thing Hazy In China, the Middle East is another area of the world where avian flu is rife, yet news is often slow to emerge.  
As an example, the last time I checked (two weeks ago), Egypt's Ministry of Health  Bird Flu FAQ hadn't been updated since mid-2014, and still showed 180 cases since 2006 (WHO shows 356 as of Dec 2016).
Their website appears to be offline today, but I doubt that has changed.  In January of 2015, when H5N1 human infections soared to record levels, the MOH simply stopped reporting (see The Silence Of The Egyptian MOH).

H5N1 became so entrenched in Egyptian poultry by 2008, that Egypt's weekly reports to the OIE ceased (see 07/07/08 Final report (endemic)),   That final report stated, `No more follow-up reports will be made, but instead, information about this disease will be included in the future six-monthly reports.’

Egypt has notified the OIE of a couple of detections of HPAI H5N8 (once in migratory birds, one in a small poultry flock), but very little else has been said.

Whether due to the already endemic H5N1,  the newly arrived H5N8,  or a combination of the two - the Egyptian media -  which has been largely silent the past two years on avian flu,  has suddenly become more vocal over the past few days.

One particularly critical (translated) example comes from
The government loses control of bird flu
    Tarek El-Deeb
    Saturday, February 4, 2017 19:19

Bird flu continues to spread in the various governorates of Egypt, at a time when the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to control it, especially with the speed of its spread among poultry.

The Ministry of Agriculture in the case of extreme emergency of the Veterinary Services in the governorates departments, canceled vacations and veterinarians in an effort to control the spread of the virus.

Dr Mohammed Attia, chairman of preventive medicine at the Ministry of Agriculture, the Veterinary Services Authority gave instructions for Veterinary Directorates in the governorates need to investigate the bird flu virus, pointing out that it is now focusing on 45 villages in nine provinces are considered the most vulnerable to HIV infection because they are located in the path of migratory birds.

He Attia's "Egyptians", that "so far no human cases recorded with the virus, but there are numerous infections in poultry, which made the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, its committees shall be published in other provinces as opposed to the 9 core provinces, which lies in the path of migratory birds," following: "All of the inquiry committees are currently working to monitor any new development of the virus."

Said Dr. Essam Fayed, Minister of Agriculture, said he commissioned 240 medical team dedicated to the obligatory provinces, with the aim of monitoring the hotbeds of the spread of the disease and the siege, pointing out that he gave instructions to the Veterinary Services early to prepare for the virus before the winter season, in addition to that for the past periods it has been following reports from the Commission on the evolution of the virus and its spread, according to an official statement.

At the same time, veterinarians criticized the performance of the agriculture minister, saying he is incapable of the siege of the virus, which has spread this year and the cause of death to the huge numbers of poultry.

The MP said Raef Timraz, said that "canals" filled with dead poultry that may cause more spread of the virus, called on the government to take necessary measures to prevent the expansion of infection measures.

It's "Egyptians", that "there is a major lack on the part of the government in the siege of the virus", criticizing the justifications offered by the Veterinary Services Authority there was not enough budget to immunize poultry, wondering at the same time the sources of spending millions spent in the fortifications and animal husbandry wealth.

 It is noteworthy that the bird flu virus is spreading in the winter season and affects the respiratory system for poultry leads to they died on the spot as Egypt recorded and many of the world's cases of "human" died, including a lot as a result of mutated A strains of the virus and enable them to injury the human respiratory tract.

(Continue . . . )

Another hard-hit region of the Middle East has been Iran, which has been far more open about their bird flu problems than Egypt, although we don't know the full extent of their outbreaks.  Their most recent OIE Notification (Jan 17th) listed 14 outbreaks of H5N8, involving roughly 900 thousand birds. 
Today Iranian media (via IRNA the official news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran) is reporting their losses are now 6 million birds
 Persian doesn't translated as cleanly as Arabic, but the following report is fairly readable.

Cleanup eight provinces Azanflvanzay birds
Tehran - IRNA - Head of Iran Veterinary Organization said the disease avian influenza had affected 15 provinces this year, said the disease has been controlled in eight provinces.

Economic reports IRNA, Mehdi Khalaj Sunday at a press conference on the occasion of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution thirty-Hshtymn about the latest situation of avian influenza said the organization in the fight against infectious diseases, especially avian influenza virus measures necessary Hadprndgan to inform poultry producers, public and timely declaration to the World Organisation for animal Health has done.

He Golestan, East Azarbaijan, Tehran, Lorestan, Qazvin and Ardebil provinces have been cleared, including name, saying, for example, Qazvin Alborz Province 44 days and 35 days that have been cleared.

Khalaj continued in Ardabil an infected migratory bird and a rural unit was reported that of the 25 days, the province has been cleared.

** Destruction of 6 million birds in flu outbreaks

He added: Of course, one billion and 400 million hatching in the country and the number of poultry slaughtered, had no effect on market supply and demand.

** H5N8 avian influenza virus is most damaging in the world
** 9 habitat of wild migratory birds were identified.

According to him, migratory birds arrived in early August from the northern regions of southern Africa to migrate from overwintering early May after returning to Iran.

120 thousand cellular and molecular tests were carried out on the basis of the results of virus circulating in the country did not exist.

He said the disease 20 November this year in one of the farms, hens Tehran reported and verified.
IRNAeco @
While admittedly mostly anecdotal reports, if Iran has lost 6 million birds to H5N8, and the government has `lost control' of bird flu in Egypt, one can't help wonder what the situation must be like in many of  the other Middle Eastern countries that aren't reporting anything at all.

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