Friday, June 22, 2018

China: MOA Reports HPAI H5N1 In Qinghai Province

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Avian flu reports have been greatly subdued out of China for months, likely the result of a massive nationwide poultry vaccination campaign conducted last summer and fall using a newly developed H5 + H7 recombinant AI vaccine.
H5N1 - while once the main avian flu threat in China - has been largely overshadowed by H5N6 which emerged in 2014 (see Cell Host Microbe: Genesis, Evolution and Prevalence of HPAI H5N6 In China).
Yesterday, however, China's MOA announced an outbreak of HPAI H5N1 on a farm in Qinghai Province. The last OIE reported H5N1 outbreak from China I can locate was nearly a year ago in Inner Mongolia 
Located in the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau - Qinghai Province has a long and fascinating history of H5N1 outbreaks, including being the site of several large wild bird die offs that signaled significant  evolutionary changes in the virus (see Deja Flu: Another Qinghai Lake H5N1 Die Off).
While there is nothing in today's announcement (below) to suggest a change in the virus, given HPAI H5's propensity to evolve, we'll obviously be alert for any additional reports in the months ahead. 

An H5N1 Subtype Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Avian Fever in Dachaidan Administrative Region, Qinghai Province
 
Date: 2018-06-21 17:38 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Information Office released on June 21 an H5N1 sub-type highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak in the Dachaidan administrative area of the Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

On June 12, broiler chickens raised in a certain farm in Dachaidan administrative area in Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province were suspected to have bird flu symptoms, including 1050 cases and 1050 deaths.
On June 14, the Animal Disease Control and Prevention Center of Qinghai Province was diagnosed with suspected bird flu. On June 21, confirmed by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratories, the epidemic was an H5N1 subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

After the outbreak of the epidemic, the local government adhered to the requirements of the relevant plans and technical standards for prevention and control, and adhered to prevention, control, and scientific prevention and control according to law, and effectively handled the epidemic. 565 poultry have been culled, and all the dead and culled poultry have been rendered harmless. At present, the epidemic has been effectively controlled.

In the past couple of hours, Hong Kong's CFS (Centre for Food Safety) has responded by issuing the following statement. 

Import of poultry meat and products from Da Qaidam Administrative Region in Qinghai Province suspended
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (June 22) that in view of a notification from the Ministry of Agriculture about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 sub-type avian influenza in Da Qaidam Administrative Region, Qinghai Province, it has followed the existing approach for control of highly pathogenic avian influenza and taken recommendations from the World Organisation for Animal Health into account to suspend the import of poultry and poultry products, including poultry eggs, from an area within a radius of 3 kilometres from the said place for a period of 90 days, and from an area within a radius of 13km for 21 days, with immediate effect for the protection of public health in Hong Kong.

A spokesman for the CFS said that according to information from the General Administration of Customs, the outbreak does not affect any registered Mainland poultry farms for export to Hong Kong. No registered poultry meat or poultry egg processing plants are currently situated within the import restriction zone concerned.

The Centre will closely monitor the latest developments of the avian influenza case in the province and take appropriate follow-up action as necessary.

Ends/Friday, June 22, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:45

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