Avian Influenza Continues to Wreak Havoc

Avian influenza is not done yet with reports of outbreaks in several countries.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus struck birds in Iran and Vietnam while H5N8 outbreaks continue in Europe, including at a large poultry farm in Sweden.

Iran’s H5N1 outbreak began on January 15, hitting backyard ducks in Mazandaran province. The virus killed 10 of 230 susceptible birds and authorities culled the remaining ducks.

In Vietnam, officials reported a new H5N1 outbreak in backyard birds in Cao Bang province in the north. The outbreak started on April 17, killing 700 of 2,004 susceptible birds.

Elsewhere, Egypt noted 45 H5N1 events for March, according to notifications from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). H5N1 is endemic in Egyptian poultry, and in 2015 an unprecedented surge of infections occurred in humans, leading to about 165 illnesses, 48 of them fatal.

Hungary has four more H5N8 outbreaks at goose farms in Bacs Kiskun County in the south. It began on April 13, killing 478 of 5,543 birds. The remaining geese were slated for culling.

Sweden reported an H5N8 outbreak at a large layer farm in Sodermanland County in the southeast. It began on April 22 when the farmer noticed increased death in one of the unit’s four houses.

The virus killed 755 of 50,000 birds and authorities destroyed all the remaining chickens to curb the spread of the virus.

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