The highly pathonegic avian influenza H5N8 has been found in wildfowl on two RSPB reserves in England.
The virus has been detected in dead birds found at Frampton Marsh nature reserve in Lincolnshire and Marshside reserve in Southport, Merseyside.
Following advice from Public Health England the RSPB is not initially closing the reserves. Signage at the affected sites provides guidance to visitors, emphasising the importance of hygiene. Visitors should take care to avoid physical contact with dead or sick birds, which should be reported to site staff or directly to the Defra hotline (03459 33 55 77).
The various strains of avian flu continue to spread across Asia.
In China the sale of live poultry has been halted in Suzhou in Jiangsu Province following reports of human H7N9 cases. In Xinjiang Region a large poultry outbreak involving the H5N6 strain has led to the culling of more than 55,000 chickens and other poultry.
Japan has reported its seventh outbreak at a poultry farm in Kumamoto Prefecture. Japan has been battling H5N6 in wild birds and poultry flocks.
Since the recent outbreaks in England and Scotland there have been no further cases of bird flu in poultry in the UK as of 28 December.
However the disease continues to spread across Europe.
The first European occurrence of bird flu was in Hungary in October. On 28 October 2016 the H5N8 virus was detected in a wild bird found dead at Lake Fehér-to.
France has announced an outbreak of severe bird flu on a duck farm in the southwest of the country. The virus was spreading in the region. This is a major setback for French poultry and foie gras producers recovering from a bird flu epidemic a year ago.
The H5N8 avian influenza virus was confirmed at a farm in the Tarn administrative department days after the virus was detected among wild birds in northern France and following outbreaks in Europe linked to migrating birds.
The outbreak killed 2,000 out of a flock of 5,000 ducks on the Tarn farm and the remaining birds are to be culled. The outbreak has also been detected at another nearby farm where more ducks had to be culled.
Reports of Avian Influenza H5N8 outbreaks in wild birds and poultry in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland have resulted in the risk level for Avian Influenza reaching the UK via wild birds being raised from ‘Low’ to ‘Medium’’.
FULL STORY : www.farminguk.com/news/New-case-of-high-risk-bird-flu-found-in-France-prompts-7000-duck-cull_44992.html
DATE : 3 December 2016
SOURCE : FarmingUK
German medical experts at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute have warned that the H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus is spreading rapidly across northern Europe, most likely being carried by wild birds that do not show any symptoms.
FULL STORY : www.voanews.com/a/bird-flu-virus-northern-europe/3609623.html
DATE : 23 November 2016
SOURCE : Voice of America