|Shimane Prefecture - Credit Wikipedia|
Late October to mid-November is the time of year we usually start seeing reports of migratory birds in Asia, and in Europe, discovered either dead or dying with suspected or confirmed bird flu.
Last year HPAI H5N8 was reported to have arrived in Europe (Hungary) during the last week of October while H5N6 was announced in South Korea around the 15th of Novemeber (see South Korea: MAFRA On H5N6 Detection And Prevention).
On the same day, Japanese media reported Japan Testing Dead Birds In Hokkaido & Akita Prefectures, both of which proved positive for HPAI H5N6.Within days, poultry farms in both nations had been affected, as the number and geographic range of environmental and wild bird detections increased.
Today Japanese media is carrying multiple reports of the discovery of a dead mute swan in Shimane Prefecture, which has preliminarily tested positive for influenza A. It will take a few days before a full laboratory analysis can tell us what type of influenza they are dealing with.
First a report from news.24.jp followed by a story from biglobe.ne.jp.
This season's first, swans bird flu positive Matsue
At 18:02 on November 6, 2017
5 days, in Shimane, Matsue, positive reaction of the bird flu virus from the Mute Swan one bird that was dead has been confirmed. The positive is confirmed, this season, the first time that in the whole country.
Shimane of wild birds or positive bird flu
from Shimane of wild birds positive reaction
November 6 (Mon) 11 o'clock 38 minutes Mainichi Shimbun
Shimane Prefecture 6 days, from Mute Swan 1 bird carcasses discovered wild birds in Matsue, announced that came out positive reaction of the type A avian influenza virus in a simple test. And the confirmation inspection in Tottori, the result is found in about a week. According to the Ministry of the Environment, if confirmed positive, the occurrence confirmation of this season for the first time of bird flu in the country. [Takuwataru Nagamune]
While the most likely culprits are HPAI H5N6 or HPAI H5N8, there are other possibilities worth considering, not the least of which is HPAI H7N9 which emerged on the Chinese Mainland a year ago.
Five weeks ago, in J. Virology: Genesis and Spread of Newly Emerged HPAI H7N9 In China, we looked at the rapid geographic expansion of this new avian threat across the eastern half of China.China's neighbors, including Russia to the north, and Vietnam to the south, are all on high alert as HPAI H7N9 appears to be spreading faster and farther than earlier LPAI versions of the virus - possibly via migratory birds (see China's Nervous Neighbors).
Although there are obvious concerns over the expected return of avian flu across the Northern Hemisphere, influenza viruses have a habit of zigging when we expect them to zag, and so we won't know what this fall has in store until it actually arrives (see Sci Repts.: Southward Autumn Migration Of Waterfowl Facilitates Transmission Of HPAI H5N1).