Swiss Authorities at the Federal Office Of Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (OSAv) have announced that country's first detection of the reassorted H5N6 virus which appeared in the Netherlands not quite three weeks ago (see Netherlands Bird Flu Identified As Reassorted H5N6).
Switzerland becomes the second European country to report this recently reassorted virus this year.This represents a jump of over 600 miles (south & slightly east) of its first appearance in Biddinghuizen (municipality of Dronten, Flevoland Province) earlier this month.
Given the spread of a very similar virus from South Korea, to Japan, and Taiwan over the past six weeks, it isn't all that surprising to find this virus is taking a European tour.
So far, however, this reassortant H5N6 virus hasn't shown anywhere near the level of activity that we saw from H5N8 last winter.While this is but a single detection, you can be sure the French - whose border is just 20 miles from Lake Biel - and who were the hardest hit during last year's record setting avian epizootic, are taking notice.
Bird flu case on Lake Biel
Bern, 12.28.2017 - On the shore of Lake Biel in Erlach was found before Christmas a sick swan. The laboratory analysis showed that the bird was infected with the bird flu virus H5N6. Investigations of the BLV and the cantonal veterinary authorities have been no other cases. therefore currently no precautions are planned.
The virus type H5N6 has also been detected in the Netherlands. It's been proven by a mutation of the virus H5N8, which occurred last winter in Europe. The H5N6 type, which was discovered in Europe is not in connection with the H5N6 type that is common in Asia. The Asian type may be transmitted to humans, the European type no indications have been known.
Reminder: The discovered cases this summer in Swiss lakes (. See press release dated August 15, 2017), show that the virus in wild birds in Switzerland still occurs. Vigilance is therefore still appears: keepers and holders of poultry are required to report suspicious deaths to the vet. Persons who died birds find are asked not to touch them and to inform the nearest police station or gamekeepers.