Last Friday, in Japan: MOE Raises Surveillance Alert Level As More Dead Birds Are Discovered, we Japan's alert level raised as two dead more birds tested positive for influenza A near Matsue (Shimane Prefecture) following the positive H5N6 test of a mute swan.
It was almost exactly a year ago (Nov 15th) when Japan detected HPAI H5N6 for the very first time - brought in by wild birds migrating south, primarily from Eastern Russia and Siberia.
Today Japan's MOE reports a second bird has tested positive for H5N6, while 3 more dead birds have tested positive in the field for influenza A. Samples from additional 5 birds are now being analyzed at Tottori University and should be available in the next few days.
Meanwhile South Korea is reporting the detection of H5N2 (pathogenicity undetermined) in wild bird feces on Jeju island, in the Korea Straits, about 100 miles from the Japan coast. Testing should be available in the next 24 hours to determine whether it is LPAI or HPAI.
This (translated) report from South Korea's MAFRA.
H5N2 AI virus type detected in Jeju-si (hadori) wild bird feces
Added 2017-11-13 09:30:00
Agriculture, Forestry, Animal Husbandry and Food (Minister: gimyoungrok) is 11.6 days Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock Quarantine Office intermediate tests H5N2 type AI viruses against wild bird feces collected from Jeju (hadori) Jeju * detects Sun 11.12, depending on the behavior AI emergency instructions (SOP) It announced that take preventative measures.
Set to 'wild birds current surveillance area "** for detecting the center point of a radius 10km area was to be subjected to movement control and disinfection with respect to poultry and birds bred in the area for 21 days,as well as, poultry farms and migratory doraeji, Small Stream AI enhanced biosecurity and its municipalities for such vehicles is to mobilize the Defense wide Area bangjegi announced that total take biosecurity measures, including disinfection carried out every day.
* Highly Pathogenic whether verification 11.13 days will
** Jeju island gujwaeup hadori AI detection point with respect to the surveillance center within 10km poultry breeding farms (35 farms, 715 shallow water) (clinical examination or inspection) carried
While most H5N2 viruses detected in the wild have been low path, LPAI viruses can mutate into HPAI versions when introduced into poultry, and are treated as a potential threat. HPAI H5N2 has been reported in wild birds on occasion, including during North America's 2014-15 HPAI H5 epizootic.
Should this H5N2 virus prove to be HPAI, then the next thing we'd want to know is if it is related to H5 clade 126.96.36.199. (H5N8 or H5N6) which have a long history of spinning off reassortants (H5N2, H5N5, H5N6) across Asia, Europe, and North America.South Korea, which will host the 2018 Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang County early next year (Feb 9th-25th), is particularly keen to contain any avian flu outbreaks in hopes of avoiding the financial impacts, and negative press, of the past three winters.