Avian influenza spreads throughout Europe and Asia

The widespread reports mean the virus is moving quickly
calendar icon 15 November 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

The poultry industry is on high alert following outbreaks in South Korea, Japan, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. The outbreaks have led to the culling of tens of millions of birds, as well as some trade restrictions, Reuters reported.

Epidemiologists are paying attention to the outbreaks as well, as the virus can be transmitted to humans. This year alone China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype. This is more than the whole of 2020.

South Korean authorities reported an outbreak on a poultry farm in Chungcheongbuk-do. The newly 770,000 birds were destroyed, the OIE said on Monday.

Japan reported its first outbreak last week. The serotype in this outbreak was H5N8.

In Europe, Norway reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds, the OIE said.

The Belgian government ordered poultry to be kept indoors as of Monday, after a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu was identified in a wild goose in the province of Antwerp.

France and The Netherlands issued similar orders earlier this month.

wild migratory birds
Outbreaks most often occur in autumn when the virus is spread by migrating wild birds.
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