HPAI H5N5 - a recent reassortment of H5N8 which first emerged in Europe last December - has now been reported by at least 9 European nations, albeit mostly turning up in wild or captive birds. Germany reported at least 3 farms affected in January.
France's ESA published the following map in late February showing the relatively infrequent, yet widely scattered, detections of H5N5 across Europe this winter.
Croatia reported the virus in a dead mute swan in early January. Today their Ministry of Agriculture reports that one or more backyard flocks have tested positive in Špičkovina, which is north of Zagreb.
In place Špičkovina near Zaboka has just confirmed a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N5.
The Veterinary and Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture is taking steps closure of infected holdings which will be denied access.
Tomorrow will be euthanized all remaining poultry in the infected holdings , and it is a total of about 50 beaks. For the purpose of precautionary measures and damage assessment, veterinarians will visit the surrounding farms that are located in close proximity to infected economy and listed and sampled their poultry (swabs from live poultry).
We take this opportunity to thank all our poultry farmers and those who run poultry for personal use on responsible behavior and adherence to biosecurity measures to prevent the entry of infectious agents in poultry and in compliance with the Order on measures to prevent the occurrence and spread of avian influenza on Croatian territory because the compliance with the prescribed measures in our country disease occurred in isolated cases. As it is evident that the disease is still present among the population of poultry, and thank hunters patience and cooperation, and all services involved in actions to combat this disease.
As a reminder, avian influenza (bird flu) is a highly contagious viral disease of poultry and other birds, and never cause illness in humans. With this virus are fighting many countries in the region, and to stop the virus is no other way other than euthanasia. For more information about avian influenza here: http://www.veterinarstvo.hr/default.aspx?id=3483
While still a relatively minor player when compared to HPAI H5N8, German Agriculture Minister Robert Habeck described it as `highly aggressive' when it was detected in 3 German poultry farms six weeks ago.
Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) describes this new virus as:
Since mid-December 2016 a further subtype, H5N5, has been circulating in wild birds, which now has first been introduced into a poultry holding. This virus is is likely to be a reassortant based on the original H5N8. Mixed viruses, so-called reassortants, of avian influenza viruses are generated, if several virus subtypes are present in one infected animal and exchange genetic material during replication. Generation of reassortants must be expected when different high and low pathogenic influenza viruses are circulating in one population.
A second reassortment - H5N6 - was detected in Greece last month, and as the FLI warned above, additional reassortments are not just possible, they should be expected.