|Kagawa Prefecture - Credit Wikipedia|
Although it really comes as no surprise - given the recent environmental bird flu test results in Japan and poultry AI outbreaks in South Korea - today we have confirmation from Japan's MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries) that their first poultry outbreak of this winter has tested out as HPAI H5N6.
This is presumably the same new lineage H5N6 that has been identified in Asia and parts of Western Europe the past two months, that rose from a reassortment of the European H5N8 virus (see Tottori University: Shimane HPAI H5N6 A New Reassortment).
If any significant changes have occurred, I'm sure we'll hear about it in the next week or so. Here is today's (translated) announcement:.
Genetic analysis of suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Kagawa prefecture and confirmation of NA subtype
January 12, Heisei 30
Ministry of Agriculture
As a result of genetic analysis conducted by the Animal Health Research Division on the suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in Kagawa prefecture, it was confirmed that it is a highly pathogenic avian influenza.
In addition, regarding the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, the NA subtype was found and confirmed to be H5N6 subtype.
(1) As a result of genetic analysis conducted by the Animal Health Research Division (Note), a sequence which is considered to have high virulence was confirmed for suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed on the farm in Kagawa prefecture .
(2) In response to this, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has judged that said poultry is a highly pathogenic avian influenza-derived animal according to "Specific animal disease epidemic guidelines on highly pathogenic avian influenza and low pathogenic avian influenza" .
(3) As for the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, as a result of examination in the animal health research department, the NA subtype was found and confirmed to be H5N6 subtype.
(Note) National Institute of Agriculture and Food Industry, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Animal Health Research Division: Research institute on animal health in Japan (department manager Kenichi Sakamoto)
(1) In Japan, no case has been reported in which people have been infected with avian influenza virus by eating poultry meat and poultry eggs.
(2) Thank you for your cooperation so that you can refrain from scrutinizing the interview in the field, as it may cause spread of the disease and may invade the privacy of farmers.
(3) Since we will make efforts to provide information promptly and accurately, we ask for cooperation so that stakeholders such as producers and consumers will not be confused by unfounded rumors etc.
· Press release dated January 10, Heisei 30, "Confirmation of cases suspected of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Kagawa prefecture and holding of" Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Against Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Headquarters "」
· Press release dated January 11, Heisei 30, "Confirmation of suspected animals of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Kagawa prefecture"