Japan (HPAI H5N8) The Environment Ministry confirmed the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N8) today from two wild bird environmental samples collected on November 3rd in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture in western Japan. The H5N8 strain was detected on November 3rd in two samples of droppings from migratory tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus). This is the same strain of avian influenza that was detected in South Korea in January and Kumamoto Prefecture Japan in April of this year. In 2010, the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza was first detected in wild bird fecal samples before outbreaks in farms and wild birds throughout Japan. HPAI H5N8 was reported last week in a farm in Germany and analysis of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase RNA segments show that the German virus is closely related to the virus in South Korea. Whether the Japan H5N8 is related to the same group is not known at this time. The source of the introduction of the HPAI H5N8 virus into Germany is unknown at this time, but the finding of HPAI H5N8 in wild bird fecal samples in Japan might support one mechanism of introduction. The Prefecture is warning all local poultry farms to take preventative measures against infection.
News Update November, 6 2014
Avian Influenza in Poultry
Germany (HPAI H5N*) Veterinary staff culled approximately 31,000 turkeys in Heinrichswalde, in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg in western Pomerania, that were found to have the highly pathogenic H5N8 influenza virus. 1800 birds died and at least one turkey on the farm tested positive for the virus, according to a spokesperson at the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI). The HPAI H5N8 virus has never been found before in Germany, but had previously been found in South Korea where it infected at least 28 farms and lead to the culling of 14 million birds in early 2014.
Examinations on 1,000 animals were conducted in a three-kilometer restricted area, while a ten-kilometer "observation area" was also established. Poultry within a 50-kilometre radius may no longer be kept outside their pens.
Avian Influenza in Humans
China (LPAI H7N9) A 58-year-old woman in Jiangsu province who bought and slaughtered a chicken is now in critical condition, suffering from H7N9 avian influenza. The ban on selling live poultry in the cities of Guangzhou, Foshan and Shenzhen will be expanded to the entire province of Guangdong. Imports from mainland China to Hong Kong are being strictly monitored to prevent further spread of the virus.