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660,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Penza Oblast, Russia

Bird Flu

Russian agricultural holdings Cherkizovo and Damate have been affected by a series of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI), which were reported in four regions of the country.

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30,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Anhui, China

China confirmed a bird flu outbreak at some broiler chicken farms in the central province of Anhui, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday.
Local government culled 30,196 poultry birds after the outbreak, which infected 28,650 chickens and killed 15,066 of the birds, the statement said.
The outbreak was confirmed as a case of the H5N6 strain of the virus.
China also reported 13 fatalities from H7N9 bird flu in June, the government said in July, taking the death toll since October to at least 281.
China reported as many as 108 deaths from the virus in the March to May period, spurring further concerns about the spread of the deadly virus, according to data from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
The death toll tends to drop towards the end of winter.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission did not disclose the location of fatalities or infections.
The H7N9 virus is likely to strike in winter and spring, and farmers have in the recent years ramped up measures such as cleaning regimes to prevent the disease.
China, the world’s third-largest producer of broiler chickens and the second-biggest consumer of poultry, has also closed some live poultry markets after people and chickens were infected by the avian flu strains.
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150,000 birds killed due to bird flu in South Africa

Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana on Tuesday suspended poultry imports from South Africa with immediate effect following outbreaks of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu.
South Africa has confirmed outbreaks of avian flu, which is often transmitted by wild birds, on at least two farms. South Africa and Mozambique banned poultry imports from Zimbabwe this month after a bird flu outbreak there.
Botswana, which only imports 5 percent of its poultry needs, said it would no longer buy poultry meat, processed products and feeds from South Africa.
“The restriction is a precautionary measure to avoid equal infection here as well as protect our people,” agriculture minister Patrick Ralotsia told Reuters.
Zimbabwe imposed a similar ban while Namibia also halted imports from Belgium which has experience an outbreak of bird flu earlier this year.
South Africa on Monday ended the sale of live hens throughout the country in a bid to control the outbreak that was detected on the farm of a commercial broiler breeder last week.
Poultry producer Astral, which had previously confirmed that H5N8 had been detected at its breeding facilities on the outskirts of the Free State, said on Tuesday it had quarantined the affected site and culled 150,000 birds, around six percent of its breeding stock.
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190,000 birds killed due to bird flu in South Korea

South Korea has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on poultry transportation as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus, which has led to the slaughter of some 190,000 birds.
The first case in this outbreak of the virus was confirmed in the southern island of Jeju on June 2, and four more cases have been confirmed in different locations across the country.
On Tuesday, Seoul raised the national bird flu alert to its highest level, as it counted more than 180,000 chickens, ducks and other birds be culled, the agriculture ministry said.
“We hope that the outbreak will be contained soon with the bird flu alert raised to the top ‘grave’ level,” a ministry official told AFP.
“Grave” is the final step on the four-level alert system, and means officials can ban any movements of vehicles carrying birds, shut poultry stores or animal slaughterhouses, vaccinate poultry, and disinfect any vehicles on the road.
Under the 24-hour poultry transport ban that took effect Wednesday, all birds—and bird farmers—were banned from travelling, with farms subjected to disinfection.
The worst outbreak of another strain—H5N6, the most highly contagious strain of avian flu ever to hit the South—was recorded late last year when a record 30 million birds were slaughtered, which sent egg prices soaring.
The World Health Organization warned earlier this year that the strain has caused “severe infection” in humans.
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140,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Zimbabwe

One of Zimbabwe’s biggest poultry producers, Irvine’s Private Limited, has culled 140,000 birds following an outbreak of avian influenza at its premises which killed 7,000 others, as the government quarantined the affected site to prevent the spread of the virus.
A press statement published by the company Tuesday said that the company had identified and contained a form of avian flu on an isolated site just outside Harare.
“Irvine’s, together with the Zimbabwe Veterinary Department, have responded by placing the affected site under quarantine and the entire flock that was affected has been culled and disposed of in accordance with the relevant veterinary regulations,” the company said.
Avian flu is a virus that occurs naturally among wild aquatic birds and affects domestic poultry and other birds and animals.
Principal director in the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services Unesu Obatolu-Ushewokunze told state media that the outbreak involved the serotype H5 N8 of the avian flu virus which had been spreading around the world since 2010 but had not shown any risk to humans.
“All trade partners, veterinary authorities of neighboring countries and the World Organization for Animal Health have been notified as necessary,” she said.
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12,000 birds dead due to bird flu in Ituri, Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported three outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5 bird flu among poultry in the northeastern province of Ituri, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday.
The virus was detected among ducks and hens in three villages near the border with Uganda, the Paris-based OIE said, citing a report from the Congolese agriculture ministry.
The disease caused the death of more than 12,000 birds, with mortality higher in ducks than in hens, according to the report.
The H5N8 strain of bird flu has been present in Uganda and the heavy trade of poultry animals and products across the border would have to be considered, the report said.
H5N8 bird flu has been found in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since late last year, propagated by wild birds, and has led to massive preventive culling of poultry in countries such as France.
The source of the outbreaks in Congo was not yet known and the exact strain of H5 bird flu not indicated.
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1 MILLION+ birds killed since January, due to bird flu in Taiwan

A poultry farm in Liujiao Township of Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, was confirmed Monday to be infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, leading to the culling of 13,349 birds, the county’s Livestock Disease Control Office said.
This was the third poultry farm hit by avian influenza subtype H5 in the southern Taiwanese county so far this year, according to data released by the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).
As of 6 p.m. Monday, a total of 1,009,068 birds have been destroyed at 110 poultry farms infected with highly pathogenic avian flu viruses across Taiwan since the beginning of this year.
The infected poultry farms were located in Taoyuan City in northern Taiwan; Changhua and Yunlin counties in central Taiwan; Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung county and cities in the south; and Yilan and Hualien counties in the east, COA data shows.
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18,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Georgia, USA

The Georgia Department of Agriculture reports that the state’s first case of avian influenza (bird flu) has been found in Chattooga County.
Chickens, part of a flock of 18,000 birds at a commercial poultry breeding operation tested positive for H7, presumptive low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). 
Officials for the GDA say this is the first confirmation of avian influenza in domestic poultry in Georgia. 
Avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low.
The virus was identified during routine pre-sale screening for the commercial facility and was confirmed as H7 avian influenza by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. As a precaution, the affected flock has been destroyed. 
Officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within the surveillance area and no other flocks have tested positive or experienced any clinical signs.
Earlier this year, similar confirmations were reported in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
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Mass die off of birds due to bird flu right across Hungary and Romania

Two countries in Europe—Hungary and Romania—reported more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreaks in wild birds and poultry, as South Korean researchers revealed new findings about the H5N6 strain, which hint that Mandarin ducks could be a host species that can spread the virus beyond its borders.
In an update today on H5N8, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the virus with pandemic potential has now been confirmed in birds in four of the world’s regions, including 40 countries.
Latest H5N8 outbreaks in Europe
Hungary’s agriculture ministry today reported 47 more H5N8 detections in wild birds found dead from Jan 5 to Feb 15, affecting 11 bird species, though the largest portion were mute swans, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The birds were found dead across a wide area of Hungary, encompassing 16 different counties. Five of the events involved dead birds in Budapest, Hungary’s capital.
Details of the numerous H5N8 outbreaks come less than a week of a report on 19 outbreaks in Hungarian poultry covering roughly the same period.
Meanwhile, Romanian officials said in two new OIE reports that tests have linked H5N8 to five more outbreaks in wild birds and two more in backyard poultry.
The outbreaks in backyard poultry began on Feb 6 and Feb 20 at holdings in Arges County in the south-central region and Constanta County in the southeastern corner. The virus killed 50 of 57 birds at the two locations.
Meanwhile, officials said H5N8 was found in wild birds—swans and a mallard—found dead between Feb 15 and Feb 20 at five locations in three counties: Bucuresti, Constanta, and Galati.
Korean scientists profile H5N6 virus
In the H5N6 study, researchers from South Korea described genetic findings from an isolate collected from a Mandarin duck fecal sample at a wintering habitat for wild birds in October 2016. The team reported its findings yesterday in an early online edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Starting in November, South Korea and Japan have reported several H5N6 outbreaks in wild birds. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar, and Vietnam have also reported recent H5N6 outbreaks.
Analysis of the South Korean H5N6 isolate showed that it was a reassortant clade influenza A virus that is genetically similar to H5N6 viruses isolated from birds in China, Vietnam, Laos, and Hong Kong, as well as human isolates. Since 2014 H5N6 has sickened 17 people, all in China.
The team said Mandarin ducks are year-round resident in South Korea, with some migrating to Russia and eastern Asia. They added that Mandarin ducks were found to harbor H5N1 in 2010 and H5N8 in 2014 and 2016, suggesting that they could be a host species for the H5 clade and could carry the virus throughout South Korea and into other countries.
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Nearly 6,000 birds killed due to bird flu in Southern Vietnam

Bird Flu
Nearly 6,000 chickens have been killed or culled after four months of no reported cases.
Two bird flu outbreaks among poultry have emerged in Vietnam’s central and southern regions, the animal health department said, warning the disease could spread to more areas.
Animal health officials culled around 2,800 birds after the H5N6 virus had been detected infecting the birds in the central province of Quang Ngai, the agriculture ministry-run department said in a statement posted Sunday. Quang Ngai is about three hours drive to the south of the popular tourist town of Hoi An.
Some 3,000 chickens infected by the H5N1 virus, another strain, have also been killed in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, the department said in another report. Bac Lieu is some 300 kilometers (190 miles) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.
The outbreaks were the first reported in Vietnam four months after the country had successfully contained the disease in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu’s southwestern neighbor. A place is considered free of bird flu after 21 days without new infections.
Vietnam has reported no human infections of bird flu in the past two years.
The country is facing “very high” risks of bird flu spread in the coming time, the department said, warning about possibility that new virus strains could enter Vietnam due to the busy trade and smuggling activities in border areas. The virus often resurfaces in winter and spring.
Vietnam raised bird flu alerts last week as neighboring countries Cambodia and China reported ravaging outbreaks. The H7N9 bird flu virus, which was first detected in China in March 2013, has infected 340 people in China since January, 40 percent of whom have been killed.
In Vietnam the H5N1 strain has killed 65 people, one of the highest fatality rates in the world, since it recurred in 2003.
Health officials are urging the public to avoid consuming poultry with unknown origins and immediately seek help when they find sick or dead poultry.
Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, chest pain or breathing difficulty should also be taken seriously.
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