Monday, December 18, 2017

Netherlands Media: Avian Flu At Scharrel Mountain Zoo in Biddinghuizen


Although nothing has been posted on the Netherlands's Rijksoverheid (government) website, or by the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research Institute, multiple Dutch media sources are reporting an avian flu outbreak at the open-range Scharrel Mountain petting Zoo in Biddinghuizen. 
Tests are underway to determine if this outbreak is due to the same HPAI H5N6 virus which has struck in and around Biddinghuizen over the past two weeks (see Netherlands: Wild Birds Detected With HPAI H5N6).

Typical of the reporting is this from Omroep Flevoland (Broadcasting Flevoland).
Bird flu at the zoo Scharrel Mountain

Biddinghuizen 18 december 2017

All ducks, chickens, geese, and peacock culled

At the Zoo Scharrel Berg established bird flu in Biddinghuizen. All ducks, chickens, geese, swans and peacocks in the park are cleared Sunday. It is according to chairman Henk Aernaudts the Scharrel Mountain for about 40 animals.

On Friday Scharrel Berg were found a few dead chickens. A veterinarian was called in and then the Dutch Food and Drug Administration is enabled. Which found that there is indeed bird flu. There are still investigating whether it is the same version as on a duck farm in Biddinghuizen earlier this month.

The stay of the animals at the Mountain Scharrel the future should be disinfected several times.

While avian flu's return this fall has thus far been fairly subdued in both Europe and Asia, the twist has been the arrival of a newly reassorted H5N6 virus instead of the prolific H5N8 which ravaged poultry and wild birds across Europe last winter.

This new entry in the bird flu sweepstakes is not descended from the Asia H5N6 virus, but rather is a reassortment of H5N8 and an LPAI HxN6 virus of European origin.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, other than the failure (so far) of H5N8 to return via migratory birds this fall, is seeing this newly reassorted H5N6 virus showing up in East Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) and in Northern Europe (The Netherlands) - nearly 10,000 miles apart - within weeks of each other.

Another reminder - as if we needed one - that influenza is a highly unpredictable foe.

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