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Latest Avian / Bird Flu News
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
 - Bird Flu News Death of Filipino from China: Possible Case of Bird Flu
PHILIPPINES - The Department of Health has announced that the death of an overseas Filipino worker who returned from China might be a possible case of avian flu. The patient worked as a musician in China for six years and returned on 9 February, without symptoms of the disease. He died on 14 February before the infection was identified.
Philippines Star
Monday, February 23, 2015
 - Bird Flu News Japan Lifts Some Bird Flu Restrictions, Wild Bird Tests Positive for Virus
JAPAN - On 14 February, movement restrictions were lifted in Okayama after 21 days had passed without any new cases of bird flu following a previous outbreak in poultry.
A dead Anas platyrhynchos (mallard duck) collected on 13 February 2015 at Izumi-shi in Kagoshima prefecture has tested positive for the H5N8 influenza A virus.
OIE
 - Bird Flu News New Bird Flu Outbreak in Palestinian Poultry
PALESTINIAN TERRITORY - A new outbreak of H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza has been reported in a mature layer flock of 4,200 birds on the western edge of the West Bank.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News New Patient with H7N9 Diagnosed, Died Same Day
CHINA - A 78-year-old resident of Meizhou, a city in the far northeastern part of China's Guangdong province, was diagnosed as having H7N9 avian flu on 19 February and died of the disease the same day, according to Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
Since the start of the ongoing outbreak that began in early 2013, total cases stand at 599, according to FluTrackers.
CIDRAP
Friday, February 20, 2015
 - Bird Flu News Novel Eurasian Highly Pathogenic Influenza A H5 Viruses in Wild Birds, Washington, USA, 2014
US - Novel Eurasian lineage avian influenza A(H5N8) virus has spread rapidly and globally since January 2014, according to lead author, Mia Kim Torchetti of USDA and co-authors in'Emerging Infectious Diseases'. In December 2014, H5N8 and reassortant H5N2 viruses were detected in wild birds in Washington, USA, and subsequently in backyard birds. When they infect commercial poultry, these highly pathogenic viruses pose substantial trade issues.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Thursday, February 19, 2015
 - Bird Flu News Guangdong Man with H7N9 Brings Global Case Total to Nearly 600
CHINA - An additional case of H7N9 avian flu in China's Guangdong province is a 65-year-old man from Dongguan City in Guangdong, site of numerous recent cases. He is reported to have pre-existing coronary heart disease and hypertension and is in a critical condition in hospital.
The total number of H7N9 cases globally now stands 598, according to FluTrackers.
CIDRAP
Canada - Bird Flu News Canadian Authorities Relax Some Bird Flu Controls
CANADA - The area designated the restricted zone within the avian influenza Primary Control Zone in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia has been reduced.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
 - Bird Flu News Nigeria Reports New Avian Flu Outbreak in Chickens
NIGERIA - A 9,000-bird layer flock has succumbed to the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus in the state of Ogun, which is in the south-west of the country and borders Benin.
ThePoultrySite News Desk
Next 20
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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