Sunday, November 19, 2017

South Korea: MAFRA Confirms HPAI H5N6 At Gochang Poultry Farm


In a follow up to yesterday's report (see South Korea: H5 Avian Flu Detected At Gochang Poultry Farm) we've seen an unexpectedly rapid turnaround on the lab results, and we now know this outbreak to be due to HPAI H5N6. 

South Korea's national alert level has been raised to its highest level (`Serious'), and a temporary 48-hour nationwide ban on the movement of poultry has been ordered. This is the first outbreak of HPAI H5N6 in South Korea since early summer.
When combined with the discovery of HPAI H5N6 in wild bird in Japan last week (see Japan MOE: 2nd H5N6 Lab Confirmation & More Dead Birds Being Tested), this is a pretty good indication that HPAI H5 is once more making its way along the East Asian migratory flyways.
First the syntax challenged (translated) statement from South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture (MAFRA), after which I'll return with a postscript.

Jeonbuk Gochang duck farms confirmed highly pathogenic AI

Added 2017-11-19 09:36:00

Jeonbuk Gochang duck farms Highly Pathogenic AI diagnosis - severe stages issued 48 hours temporarily move the stop command, simultaneous nationwide sterilization chongryeok Defense Systems operation - Agriculture, Forestry and Animal Husbandry and Food (Minister: gimyoungrok) the results test for broiler ducks Jeonbuk Gochang 11.19 (Sun) confirmed today announced that a highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N6 type).
Whilst agri-food section was taken in the last 17 days immediately found a doctor shaft first responders preventative measures against the highly pathogenic confirmed, pursued a national biosecurity measures strengthened. 12,300 broiler ducks that are bred to be a farm that was completed quickly buy foreclosure, set the room Chronicles (10km) with its center being a farm emergency measures, such as farmers surveillance, movement control.
Agri-food section was performed at the highest level of the key preventative measures following on the basis of today's afternoon held a livestock quarantine council results depending on Highly Pathogenic occur
(1) trigger the AI ​​crisis upgraded to 'serious' step in 'Caution' alerts
(2) temporarily move the stop command for 48 hours from today midnight for all poultry workers and vehicles in the country, and the national poultry farmers and livestock-related facilities in Japan disinfection carried
(3) pan-governmental aggregate power confrontation to the main road of the entire country about all domestic fowl breeding farm and the worker of North Jeolla Province Gochang County which is a nationwide domestic fowl farmhouse and a livestock raising related infrastructure simultaneous disinfecting conduct
(4) AI occurrence area for 7 days the control guard post which is established to the main road of the mobile discontinuance
(5) occurrence area and the connection area for the AI center accident control headquarters (the general manager: Pus vice minister food) and area disaster safe Countermeasures Headquarter (general manager:

The city and province governor, market munition the ward head) the establishment government holds the urgent AI anti-epidemic measure meeting where the interagency local authority organization participates to 11.20 day morning, and the government measures and occurrence situation will announce detailed contents.

While we never really know what bird flu viruses will due each fall -  they have a habit of zigging when we expect them to zag -  there are concerns that both H5N6 in Asia, and H5N8 in Europe, will return again this fall via migratory birds (see Sci Repts.: Southward Autumn Migration Of Waterfowl Facilitates Transmission Of HPAI H5N1).
It was just about this time last year when H5N6 showed up - for the very first time - in both Japan and South Korea, while Europe's H5N8 invasion was just ramping up. 
Both avian subtypes have had months to circulate among birds in their high latitude summer roosting areas, and so we will have to remain alert for any changes in their behavior. There are also concerns that H5N6 may follow H5N8's (and H5N1's) example, and expand beyond Asia, eventually showing up in Europe or perhaps even North America.

That said, everyone expected H5N8/H5N2 to return to North America in the fall of 2015 after the worst avian epizootic in North American history the previous spring, and so far it has failed to show.
The takeaway being, avian flu subtypes - like all influenza viruses - are extremely unpredictable.
Whatever happens in the months ahead, we should be prepared to be surprised.

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