Things have been pretty quiet on the avian flu front in Russia the past few months - with the last OIE notification coming in the last week of December from Kostromskaya Oblast - which reported an unusual outbreak of HPAI H5N2 that resulted in the loss of more than 600,000 birds.
Last month's ESA Epidemiological Update described that event as:
An H5N2 virus detected in RussiaOn 29th December 2017, Russia reported an outbreak of HPAI H5N2 in a poultry farm of more than 660 000 birds, in the region of Kostroma in the Northeast of Moscow (OIE report 29/12/2017). This outbreak was initially notified as H5N8 three days prior.
This is the first report of HPAI H5N2 virus in Russia and the last outbreak of HPAI H5N2 reported in Europe dates back to January 2017 with three outbreaks reported in poultry farms in France.
Regarding the origin of this virus, two hypotheses can be formulated:
- the mutation of a LP H5N2 virus in domestic birds, into a HP virus (as was the case in 2015 with H7N7 in the United Kingdom and Germany, or with H5N1 and H5N2 in France),
- a reassortment between HP H5N8 which circulated in Europe in 2016-2017 with a LP Eurasian strain, as for the H5N6 virus currently circulating in Europe. Indeed, viruses from clade 126.96.36.199 have a strong mutation potential, as illustrated by the emergence of H5N6 and H5N5 viruses following the circulation of H5N8 in Europe in 2016-2017.Whatever the case may be, further analyses are needed to identify the origin, the link and the genetic composition of these new viruses, and the evolution of the epidemiological situation in Europe should be closely monitored.
Today, we've an OIE report and a statement from the Kursk Oblast office of Rosselkhoznadzor, of what appears to be at least two outbreaks of an HPAI H5 virus (full subtype not yet identified) in Kursk Oblast.
First, a screenshot from the OIE report, followed by excerpts from the official statement.
About Avian Influenza registration in Kursk region
June 14, 2018
Office of Rosselkhoznadzor for the Orel and Kursk regions announces the registration of avian influenza in the territory of Kursk region. As a result of laboratory tests FGBU "ARRIAH" 10/06/2018 identified the genetic material of the avian influenza virus type A subtype H5 in pathological material taken from:
- fallen poultry (chickens and ducks) contained in private farms in the village of N. Grayvoronka Soviet district of the Kursk region,.Currently, the disadvantaged section are specialists gosvetsluzhby Kursk region under the control of the Territorial Office of Rosselkhoznadzor. Measures are taken in accordance with the rules to combat bird flu, approved by Order of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia from 27.03.2006 number 90.
- carcasses of poultry (chickens), found in the forest belt Ryshkovskogo to / from the Kursk region Kursk region.
Although the OIE report only details the backyard poultry outbreak, the above statement and the (following) TASS news report reference a second location, involving carcasses of poultry found in a forested area of another district, suggesting there may be more to this event than the initial report might indicate.
While HPAI H5N8 or H5N6 are the most likely culprits, last winter's outbreak of HPAI H5N2 several hundred miles to the North and East of Kursk - and the promiscuous nature of HPAI H5 clade 188.8.131.52 viruses in general - means we'll be waiting with considerable interest to learn what virus is driving this latest outbreak.
In two districts of the Kursk region, quarantine was introduced due to an outbreak of avian influenza
June 14, 16:25 UTC + 3
The veterinary department of the Ministry of Agriculture sent an application for allocation of 50 thousand doses of vaccine to the region
KURSK, June 14th. / TASS /. The governor of the Kursk region, Alexander Mikhailov, signed a decree on the introduction of quarantine on the territory of two regions of the region due to an outbreak of avian influenza. This was reported to the regional administration on Thursday.
As previously reported, experts for the first time detected the avian influenza virus in the Kursk region in pathological material selected from the dead hens and ducks in the private farm in the village of Nizhnyaya Graivoronka of the Sovetskiy district, as well as in the forest belt of the Ryshkovo village Soviet.
"By the decisions of the Kursk Oblast Governor in the Soviet and Kursk regions, quarantine for avian influenza has been introduced, and control over all poultry farms operating in the" closed type "mode, as well as the number of birds kept in personal subsidiary plots, has been strengthened," the regional administration noted.
In addition, an application was sent to the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation on the allocation of the Kursk region 50 thousand doses of the vaccine against bird flu.
Avian influenza is an infectious disease that affects the digestive organs, breathing and leading to the death of birds. As a rule, the carriers are wild individuals. Most strains of the disease for people are not dangerous.