Between its close proximity to the Chinese mainland, the yearly arrival of migratory birds (heading both north & south), and having a dense population of poultry farms - it isn't terribly surprising that Taiwan finds itself battling bird flu pretty much continuously.
Not only have all of these factors contributed to the number of outbreaks, Taiwan has also become an unusually prolific `nursery' for the development of new avian flu strains (both LPAI & HPAI) in recent years.After H5N8 arrived in January of 2015, in quick succession we saw the rapid emergence of new H5N2, H5N3 spin offs to joint the existing H5N3 and H5N2 LPAI viruses already endemic on the island. In 2016, we saw repeated introductions of LPAI viruses via migratory birds (see Taiwan Detects Environmental LPAI H5 & H7 Viruses In Local Wetlands).
In February of this year, in BAPHIQ: HPAI H5N6 Found In Dead Goose, yet another novel flu virus made it to the island, again carried in by migratory birds.With this much (largely) interchangeable genetic material floating around a small island nation like Taiwan, today's announcement of a `new' LPAI H5N6 virus should be of little surprise. Based on the description below, this is a new reassortant LPAI virus, not a direct relative of the HPAI H5N6 virus.
The duck farm actively monitored the first detection of low pathogenic H5N6 bird flu and continuously implemented various epidemic prevention measures
The Agriculture and Animal Welfare Quarantine Bureau of Agriculture Commission (Preventive Bureau) today (26) pointed out that in the intensive warning and monitoring work on bird flu started on December 11 this year, the Bureau of Agriculture, samples, 21 were positive screening results, was sent to the Council of Agriculture animal health Research Institute (livestock Wei) test, diagnosed 24 low pathogenic H5N6 subtype of avian influenza, the livestock guardian of the preliminary analysis, these two games The sequence of H5 gene cleavage detected was PQIETR / GLF with only 1 basic amino acid, so it was judged as low-pathogenic bird flu.
To prevent the further spread and reorganization of this new virus, only the culling of these 2 duck ducks (11,848 ducks in total) has been taken today and the venue and environmental disinfection work has been conducted.
Prevention and Quarantine Bureau said that based on the current animal health parsed sequence revealed that the strain of low pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza virus nucleic acid, gene sequences after N6 By comparison, the most similar gene sequence is N6 ducks and wild birds. The other H5 genes or N6 genes were different from the highly pathogenic H5N6 subtype viruses measured in Hualien County ducks or December Tainan black-faced spoonbills.
Inspection Bureau stated that in order to strengthen early warning and surveillance of bird flu, the industry took the initiative to monitor the intensification of duck farms, chicken farms and layer hens on December 11 this year. The measures are as follows: The Bureau urges the industry to cooperate with:
(A) duck farm: in two phases
1. Stage 1: From December 11, this year until January 15, 2007, monitoring will be conducted on duck farms that violate the "Prevention and Control Measures for H5 and H7 Subtype Poultry Influenza."
2. Stage II: From January 16 to March 31, 107, listed ducks should only be tested for negative avian influenza by the approved inspection units and the inspection report should be submitted for slaughter.
(2) Native chicken: From December 11 this year to March 31, 2007, intensive chicken farm monitoring (90 fields / month) was started.
(III) Laying hens: In 2007, laying hens volunteered to monitor the annual sampling numbers and increased from the current actual implementation number of 180 to 360.
The inspection bureau pointed out that the 2 duck farms detected the low-pathogenic H5N6 subtype of bird flu by strengthening the early warning and surveillance of the bird flu. Due to the new H5 subtype virus, Only culling measures to prevent the spread of the virus.