JAPAN - The latest outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza has led to the culling of 37,000 poultry in Yamaguchi prefecture, which is in the far west of the island of Honshu.
The latest communication from the veterinary authority to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) - Follow Up Report No.8 dated 30 December - describes a new outbreak of avian flu in poultry.
The outbreak started on 29 December in a broiler breeder flock at Nagato-shi in Yamaguchi prefecture. Seventeen birds were affected; the whole flock of 37,000 birds will be culled.
On 29 December 2014, the local veterinary service in Yamaguchi Prefecture received a notification from a broiler breeder farm on an increase in the number of dead birds, according to the report. The samples were sent to the laboratory of local veterinary service centre (Chubu Livestock Hygiene Centre). The samples from dead birds were confirmed to be influenza A virus positive by antigen-capture kits. On the same day, the centre started RT-PCR test and confirmed that the subtype was H5 on 30 December 2014 (midnight of 29 December 2014).
A stamping-out policy was applied to the affected farm. Destruction of all the susceptible birds in the affected farm (approx. 37,000 birds) was ongoing at the time of the report. Movement restrictions are imposed on the farms within the radius of 3km of the affected farm. Shipment restrictions are imposed on the farms within the radius of three to 10km of the affected farm.
The pathogenicity and the NA subtype have not yet been identified and are going to be determined by the National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH).
The same report also updates the situation at the previous outbreak farm (Miyazaki-2). After the destruction of all the susceptible birds in the affected farm (around 42,000 birds), carcasses of destroyed birds and contaminated materials were buried and farm premises were disinfected. These control measures were completed on 29 December 2014.
Movement restrictions (3km radius of the affected farm) and shipment restrictions (three to 10km radius of the affected farm) are continuing.
There are five farms rearing poultry within the movement restriction zones and they are under surveillance. A total of 12 disinfection stations were established in and around the restriction zones.
On 30 December 2014, the NIAH confirmed that the isolated virus is highly pathogenic to chickens, based on gene sequencing. The NA subtype is yet to be confirmed.
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