Sunday, February 05, 2017

Japan: MAFF Reports New Outbreak Of HPAI H5 In Poultry - Saga Prefecture



















#12,200


While Japan has been far more successful in preventing outbreaks of HPAI H5N6 than has nearby South Korea, they are nevertheless reporting their 10th poultry farm outbreak with HPAI H5 since November.  
 As with Japan's last outbreak, reported in Miyazaki Prefecture on Jan 24th, today's comes from the southern island of Kyushu.
Testing for the N-type is still underway, but for more than 200 wild bird and environmental samples, and 9 previous poultry farm outbreaks, all of the avian flu detections in Japan this year have been H5N6.

This from Japan's MAFF, after which I'll have a bit more.

For confirmation of the suspected affected animals of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Saga Prefecture

2017 February 4,
the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
For cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Saga Prefecture, which has been confirmed today is suspected, the results of genetic testing, is an H5 subtype, today, it has been confirmed to be a suspected affected animals of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

1. Overview

For cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Saga Prefecture, which has been confirmed today is suspected, the results of genetic testing, is an H5 subtype, today, it has been confirmed to be a suspected affected animals of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
In the future, we will conduct the testing in animal health research department (Note) NA subtype.

(Note) The National Research and Development Institute of Agriculture and Food Research Organization of Animal Health Research Institute: Japan's only research institute on animal health (Kenichi Division Sakamoto)

2. Other

(1) The farm has to refrain from moves such as breeding poultry from the point at which there was a report from the farmers.
(2) In Japan, this by eating poultry meat and poultry eggs to, cases of avian influenza virus was transmitted to humans has not been reported.
(3) interviews in the field, that there is a possibility that the cause of the spread of the disease, since it could violate the privacy of those farmers, thank you for your cooperation as abstain strictly.
(4) In the future, so we will endeavor to provide quick and accurate information, so as not to be confused by such production relations and consumers, such as who is unfounded rumor, thank you for your cooperation.


Although it has been less than 3 months since HPAI H5N6 was first detected in Japan (confirmation on Nov 18th), their Ministry of Environment has documented well over 200 instances of the virus in both wild birds and migratory birds and  in the environment (feces, roost water, etc.).

The latest tally of detection by the MOE lists:
H28 ~ 29 years season for avian influenza occurrence in wild birds in the country
Highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed number in wild birds (breeding birds, feces, including water samples) February 3, 2017 9:30 current 20 prefectures 209 Reviews
A full listing of announcements may be viewed here.

Much like what we are seeing with HPAI H5N8 (and its spin offs) in Europe, H5N6 is spreading faster and farther via migratory birds than we've seen previously during their relatively short (3 year) histories.
At the same time, both (clade 2.3.4.4.) viruses appear to be killing far more waterfowl than usual.  
The mechanics behind this dichotomy between increased virulence in avian hosts (waterfowl), while spreading ever more efficiently in the wild, remains a mystery. Germany's FLI addressed the subject nearly two weeks ago (see Germany: FLI Risk Assessment On HPAI H5), where they wrote:
As at present mainly wild birds which have been found dead are investigated, it is unknown which other bird species may possibly carry the virus and do not develop symptoms of disease or die. It must be concluded that there is an ongoing HPAI H5N8 epidemics among wild water bird species and that the dead birds found possibly represent no more than the tip of the iceberg.  

With well over 500 recent poultry outbreaks in Europe, more than 200 in South Korea, a large - but mostly unreported number in the Middle East - and recent incursions into Africa, H5 clade 2.3.4.4. has become the most successful HPAI strain we've seen to date.

So far H5N6 has only infected a handful of humans, and we are not aware of any human infections with H5N8.  But these viruses continue to  adapt and change, and as Dr Caroline Brown, Programme Manager of Influenza and Other Respiratory Pathogens at WHO/Europe stated late last month:
"No human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) have been reported so far in European countries, but this does not mean this cannot happen . . . . "
While it is difficult to apply previous behavior patterns to constantly evolving viruses, in the past, HPAI H5 epizootics have often lasted late into spring, meaning we may only be about halfway through this year's bird flu season.        

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