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Latest Avian / Bird Flu News
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
China - Bird Flu News China Confirms Six New H7N9 Cases
CHINA - Six more H7N9 avian flu infections were reported in China over the weekend in three provinces - two cases each were reported in Anhui, Zhejiang, and Guangdong provinces.
These cases push the global total to 622 since 2013, according to a case list maintained by FluTrackers.
CIDRAP
Monday, March 02, 2015
 - Bird Flu News Human Infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus – China
HONG KONG - On 23 February 2015, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China notified WHO of one additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Details of the case are as follows: a 61-year-old man from Hong Kong SAR developed symptoms on 16 February, consulted a private doctor on the same day and was admitted to hospital on 20 February. He had travelled to Zhangmutou, Dongguan, Guangdong, from 6 to 8 February and from 14 to 15 February. He visited a wet market on 14 February and bought two slaughtered chickens. Based on the available information, it is considered that the patient was infected outside Hong Kong. Xinhua reports that the patient died on 1 March, the first H7N9-related death in Hong Kong.
WHO
 - Bird Flu News Two Elderly Men Latest H7N9 Cases in China
CHINA - Two more cases of H7N9 avian influenza have been diagnosed in China's Guangdong province, according to a press release from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP). A 78-year-old man from the city of Zhaoqing was been admitted to hospital in serious condition, and an 80-year-old man from the city of Shantou with pre-existing medical disease is in hospital in a critical condition.
These cases bring the total since 2013 to 616, according to FluTrackers. Guangdong province has seen more cases of H7N9 flu than any other, with Zhejiang province running a close second and 14 others reporting cases as well.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News CDC Says Human Risk from H5 Outbreaks in Birds is Low
US - The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has noted the recent detections of H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in domestic and wild birds in western states but said the disease risk to people is low.
Since H5 was first detected in Washington state in December 2014, HPAI H5N2, H5N8, and a new H5N1 reassortant have been identified in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Nevada, the CDC said.
The agency added, however, "The risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in US birds and poultry is believed to be low at this time because these viruses do not normally infect humans easily, and even if a person is infected, the viruses do not spread easily to other people.
"Because avian influenza A viruses have the potential to change and gain the ability to spread easily among people, monitoring for human infection and person-to-person transmission is extremely important for public health."
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News Study: Evidence of H5N1 Antibodies Low in Poultry Workers
GLOBAL - The level of antibodies to H5N1 avian flu in poultry workers in Bangladesh is low, according to a seroprevalence study in 'Emerging Infectious Diseases'.
Researchers from the CDC and Bangladesh analyzed blood samples from 404 Bangladeshi workers in live-poultry markets in which both hand washing after poultry handling and use of personal protective equipment were low. Nine of the workers (2%) were seropositive at baseline.
Of the 284 workers who completed the study and were seronegative at baseline, 6 (2%) seroconverted, for a rate of seven cases per 100 poultry worker–years. The team also determined that workers who frequently fed poultry, cleaned faeces from pens, cleaned food or water containers and did not wash hands after touching sick poultry had a 7.6 times higher risk of infection than workers who infrequently engaged in these activities.
The authors concluded: "The risk behaviors identified in our study may help public health officials explore interventions to interrupt poultry-to-human transmission of H5N1 virus and other avian influenza A viruses among the poultry workers."
CIDRAP
Friday, February 27, 2015
 - Bird Flu News China Reports Another H7N9 Case
CHINA - Health officials have reported an H7N9 avian influenza infection in a 49-year-old man from the city of Quzhou. He had been exposed to poultry and has been admitted to hospital.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that China has reported 148 human H7N9 cases between 24 September 2014 and 23 February, which is close to the 153 cases FluTrackers has registered during the same time period. According to FluTrackers, the new infection lifts the global total to 614.
CIDRAP
United States - Bird Flu News Update on Avian Influenza in Western US States
US - An overview of the avian influenza viruses found in Northwestern states from the national veterinary organisation, which includes a warning to backyard flock owners to be on the alert for signs of disease in their poultry.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu in Taiwan: Update
TAIWAN - The latest week's reports show that the three highly pathogenic avian flu viruses circulating in the country have caused 25 new outbreaks od disease and led to the death or destruction of 165,510 domestic poultry
ThePoultrySite News Desk
Thursday, February 26, 2015
 - Bird Flu News H7N9 Sickens Two in China's Guangdong Province
CHINA - China's Guangdong province has reported two new H7N9 avian influenza cases: a three-year-old boy from the city of Heyuan (in stable condition) and an 18-year-old woman from the city of Foshan (in critical condition).
The new cases bring the global H7N9 total to 613, according to FluTrackers.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News Study Finds Low Prevalence of H9N2 Infection in People Exposed to Birds
GLOBAL - Seroprevalence of H9N2 avian flu antibodies among people exposed to birds was fairly low, although the virus still poses a pandemic threat, according to a study in the 'Journal of Infectious Diseases'.
Researchers found that H9N2 infections were detected mainly in China, Hong Kong and Bangladesh although infection has also been detected in other Asian regions, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The virus has an almost global distribution in domestic poultry.
H9N2 infection in people generally causes mild or asymptomatic disease, and the study said that surveillance efforts are likely missing infections in people exposed regularly to birds.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News Novel H5N1 Avian Flu Virus Identified in US Wild Bird
US - As part of the increased AI surveillance of wild birds (performed by testing hunter harvested birds), another Eurasian H5 clade 2.3.4.4 virus has been identified through whole genome sequencing of the virus isolate. Introduction of the Eurasian (EA) H5N8 virus into the Pacific Flyway sometime during late 2014 has allowed mixing with North American (AM) lineage viruses and generated new combinations with genes from both EA and AM origin (or “reassortant” viruses) such as the EA/AM H5N2-reassortant detected in Canada and the United States. Such findings are not unexpected as the EA-H5N8 virus continues to circulate. A novel EA/AM H5N1-reassortant clade 2.3.4.4 was isolated from an American green-winged teal in Whatcom County, Washington. This H5N1 subtype is different from strain circulating in Asia. The gene constellation is as follows: Eurasian lineage genes (PB2, H5, NP, MP >99% identical to A/gyrfalcon/WA/41088/2014 H5N8); North American lineage genes (PB1 {98% identical to A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014 H5N2}, PA, N1, NS of North American LPAI wild bird lineage. The HA cleavage site is compatible with strains that are highly pathogenic. As of 25 February 2015 there are no new occurrences of novel EA/AM H5N1.
This novel HPAI EA/AM H5N1-reassortant virus has not been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the US.
OIE
 - Bird Flu News Hungary Reports First Outbreak of H5N8 Avian Flu in Poultry
HUNGARY - An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N8 has been confirmed in a meat duck flock in the east of the country.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News Viet Nam Reports High-path Avian Flu in Village Poultry
VIET NAM - Highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N1 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of the disease in a village poultry flock in the south of the country.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News Bird Flu Reported in Myanmar
MYANMAR - An outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza around 140km from Mandalay is reported to have led to the death and culling of thousands of poultry.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News Washington State Lifts Last Bird Flu Quarantine
US - Quarantine has been lifted in Okanogan County, signalling the end of restrictions of poultry movements in Washington State following previous avian flu outbreaks.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
 - Bird Flu News H7N9 Sickens Three More in China
CHINA - Two of China's provinces - Anhui and Guangdong - reported a total of three new H7N9 avian influenza cases on 24 February. Anhui province reported two of the case-patients: a 48-year-old man from Ma'anshan and a 75-year-old man from Wuhu, both are in critical condition and had been exposed to live poultry before they got sick. Guangdong province's patient is a 58-year-old man from Zhaoqing, also in a critical condition.
The three new cases lift the global H7N9 total to 611, according to FluTrackers.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News Egypt Confirms Five New H5N1 Cases
EGYPT - Egyptian authorities have confirmed five new cases of H5N1 avian flu, continuing an unusual flood of cases in recent weeks, according to the Ministry of Health and Population. The cases are a 34-year-old man in Faiyum governorate, a 36-year-old man in Cairo governorate, a 38-year-old man and a three-year-old girl from Asyut governorate, and a 27-year-old man from Minya governorate. One is being treated in hospital, while the other four patients have been treated and released.
Egypt has now confirmed 69 cases this year, according to a list maintained by FluTrackers. In all of 2014, Egypt reported 30 H5N1 cases to the WHO. The previous high was in 2006, when Egypt had 55 WHO-confirmed cases.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News Belarus Bans Poultry Imports from Canada
BELARUS - Belarus has restricted poultry imports from Canada, according to the Veterinary and Food Control Department of the Agriculture and Food Ministry, following cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5) in the British Columbia province of Canada.
BelTA
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
 - Bird Flu News Six H5N1 Cases, One Death Reported in Egypt
EGYPT - Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu has infected six additional patients in Egypt, one of them fatally. The new cases involve a 26-year-old man in Sharqia (in hospital); two 32-year-old women (one inhospital in Menoufia; one in Dakhalia has died); a three-year-old girl in Fayoum (infection confirmed); and a five-year-old girl in Giza and a 10-month-old child in Beheira (recovered). All are in northern Egypt's Nile Valley.
FluTrackers' case listing shows 69 cases of H5N1 in Egypt since 1 January, with 19 deaths. These follow 25 cases with 14 deaths during December 2014.
CIDRAP
 - Bird Flu News China's H7N9 Cases Increase by Seven as Hong Kong Notes One
CHINA - China has reported five more cases of human H7N9 avian influenza in residents of Guangdong province, one in a Hong Kong man who visited Guangdong, and one each in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces in the past few days. All cases are men and were admitted to hospital. Hong Kong details another case, a 61-year-old man from Hong Kong who travelled to the town of Zhangmutou in Guangdong twice earlier this month and visiting a wet poultry market.
FluTrackers, which keeps a list of H7N9 cases, shows a total of 608.
CIDRAP
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Avian Influenza

(aka bird flu, avian flu) is caused by a type of influenza virus that is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. It was first identified in Italy in the early 1900s and is now known to exist worldwide. A strain of the H5N1-type of avian influenza virus that emerged in 1997 has been identified as the most likely source of a future influenza pandemic. Strains of avian influenza virus may infect various types of animals, including birds, pigs, horses, seals, whales and humans. However, wild fowl act as natural asymptomatic carriers, spreading it to more susceptible domestic stocks. Avian influenza virus spreads in the air and in manure and there is no evidence that the virus can survive in well cooked meat.

Diagnosis
How to Recognise Avian Influenza
What to look for
  • Ruffled feathers
  • Soft-shelled eggs
  • Depression and droopiness
  • Sudden drop in egg production
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cyanosis (purplish-blue coloring) of wattles and comb
  • Edema and swelling of head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
  • Green diarrhoea
  • Blood-tinged discharge from nostrils
  • Incoordination, including loss of ability to walk and stand
  • Pin-point hemorrhages (most easily seen on the feet and shanks)
  • Respiratory distress
  • Increased death losses in a flock
  • Sudden death
  • Nasal discharges
For more detail in avian influenza in poultry click here
Poultry Vaccination

Poultry Vaccination as a strategy for controlling AI in commercial birds

Outbreaks of avian influenza in the poultry industry cause devastating economic losses and is generally controlled through extensive culling of infected birds. Alternative strategies also use vaccination as a supplementary control measure during avian influenza outbreaks.

. Advantages of Vaccination
  • Vaccination reduces susceptibility to infection.
  • A higher dose of virus is necessary to infect the vaccinated birds.
  • Vaccinated birds shed less virus.
    - Decreased contamination of the environment.
    - Decreased risk of human infection
  • Used strategically vaccination compliments a stamping out strategy by slowing/stopping the spread of the virus
For more information on poultry vaccination see:
Biosecurity

Avian Influenza (Fowl Plague) is a potentially devastating disease, predominantly of chickens and turkeys, although the virus can also affect game birds (pheasants, partridge and quail), ratites (ostrich and emu), psittacine and passerine birds.

Avian Influenza is caused by an orthomyxovirus, or influenza virus and can survive for considerable lengths of time outside of the host and birds are infected through contact with other birds, mechanical vectors such as vehicles and equipment and personnel travelling between farms, markets and abattoirs.

Precautionary requirements include cleaning and disinfection of premises and the establishment of a Biosecurity barrier to help prevent spread of disease is essential.

For more information on biosecurity see the links below

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