Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Japan: 4th Avian Flu Outbreak Affects 3rd Prefecture (Hyogo)

 Credit Japan MAFF


Getting off to an early start, in just the past 7 days Japan has reported 4 outbreaks of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) in poultry, involving two different subtypes of AI (H5N1 & H5N8), across 3 Prefectures (Akita, Kagoshima, Hyogo) that span nearly the entire length of the country. 

Additionally, yesterday Japan's Ministry of Environment reported an environmental detection of HPAI H5N1 in a 4th Prefecture (Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture).

South Korea has reported similar HPAI activity (currently 4 outbreaks), and lies beneath the same migratory flyway as (East Asian - Australasian Flyway) as does Japan. As this roughly north-south flyway also crosses Hong Kong, parts of Eastern China, Taiwan and the Philippines, interests there are on alert for the arrival of avian flu as well. 

It is also possible, but less likely, that infected birds from Siberia could make their way across the Bering Strait and into Alaska, as we saw in late 2014, when HPAI H5N8 - carried by migratory birds - sparked this nation's largest avian epizootic (see H5Nx: Why North America Must Remain Alert).

Details on Japan's 4th outbreak follow:


A suspected affected animal of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture About confirmation (fourth case in domestic poultry)
November 17, 2021 (Wed)
<Simultaneous announcement in Hyogo Prefecture>
On November 17, 2021 (Wed.), a poultry farm in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture, the highly pathogenic bird flu. There was a report that suspected affected animals were confirmed. In response to this report, the radius around the farm where it occurred is 10km. The area will be designated as a priority area for wild bird monitoring, and the monitoring of wild birds will be strengthened.

1. Background
  • November 16 (Tue) - An increase in the number of cockpoultry deaths was observed at a poultry farm in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture
  • As it was, the farm reported it to the prefecture. A simplified inspection by the prefecture has shown that A bird flu (※) was found to be positive.
  • November 17 (Wed) ・ As a result of PCR testing by the prefecture, it is a subtype H5 and highly pathogenic bird It was confirmed to be a suspected affected animal of influenza.
※ Type A Bird Flu: Wild birds have influenza, including those with high or low pathogenicity.

2. Future measures
  • The status of the infection range of wild birds in the bird monitoring priority zone in coordination with Hyogo Prefecture
  • The purpose of the present invention is to obtain basic information for understanding the situation, estimating the source of infection, and preventing further spread of infection
  • We plan to conduct an emergency investigation (bird survey, dead bird survey, etc.).
    • - The national level of birdwatching has been the highest since November 11, 2021
  • We have raised the level to level 3 and will continue to strengthen bird monitoring throughout the country.
3. Points of Attention
(1) The avian influenza virus does not infect infected birds, except in cases of close contact.
It is thought that it does not infect humans. In daily life, it touched the excrement of birds
You can wash your hands afterwards, and you don't have to worry too much.
I would like to ask the people of Japan as well as the surrounding region to act calmly.
(2) When many wild birds die in the same place, the prefecture or city near you
Please contact the village office. 

(Reference) Contact with wild birds
[Press Release]
The NRA also urges the NRA to strictly refrain from reporting on the virus in areas around the plant, in order to prevent it from spreading or infecting I will.
The Ministry of the Environment provides various information on highly pathogenic avian influenza on its website Yes.

While Europe is currently reporting far more extensive HPAI activity, it is important that we monitor the progress of avian influenza around the globe. 

Asia is home to some of the most dangerous HPAI strains (Asian H5N1, H5N6, H10N8), along with the ubiquitous and highly mutable LPAI H9N2 virus, and it is consistently listed as one of the top places in the world where new strains could emerge.