DRC Reports First High-path H5 Avian Flu Outbreaks

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently reported its first highly pathogenic H5 avian flu outbreaks, suspected to be the H5N8 subtype, as Italy reported another H5N8 outbreak in poultry, China announced a large H7N9 outbreak at a commercial farm, and the Netherlands reported H5N5 in wild birds.
calendar icon 1 June 2017
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According to CIDRAP, the DRC outbreaks are well east of the Ebola outbreak area and are near the country's border with Uganda, which earlier this year reported H5N8 outbreaks in wild birds and poultry.

DRC outbreaks struck mainly ducks

In a 26 May report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that was recently posted, the DRC's agriculture ministry reported three H5 outbreaks that began on Apr 25 in village birds in Ituri province in the country's northeast near Lake Albert. Officials said the villagers mostly raise ducks and that mortality was higher in ducks than in hens; 21 ducks and 1 hen tested positive for H5.

Among the three locations, the virus killed 12,756 of 20,936 susceptible birds, and authorities had begun culling surviving birds.

DRC officials noted that H5N8 outbreaks have occurred in neighboring Uganda and that brisk poultry and poultry product trade occurs between the two countries. Officials have stepped up surveillance, and investigations are planned for Ituri province's other territories.

If H5N8 is confirmed as the subtype, the DRC would be the sixth African nation to report the virus. The others are Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Uganda.

Read the full article on the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) website here.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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