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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Avian flu, including new strain, continues to plague Taiwan
Filed Under: Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 16, 2015

Taiwan is continuing to battle multiple avian influenza outbreaks, including some involving what is described as a new strain of H5N3, and outbreaks have also hit Japan and Nigeria, according to media and government reports.

The new strain of highly pathogenic H5N3 struck two goose farms in Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties in Taiwan, killing all 53 geese on the Pingtung farm, according to a report today from Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA). A story in Sowetan, a South African newspaper, said 2,720 geese were destroyed at both farms.

Taiwan Animal Health Research Institute Director-General Tsai Hsiang-jung said the virus represents a new recombination, according to the CNA story. He said the H5 (hemagglutinin) component is 99% similar to that of a South Korean virus, while the N3 (neuraminidase) component is 98% similar to that of a 2011 H1N3 virus from Thailand, an H2N3 found in Mongolian mallards in 2010, and an H5N3 found in wild ducks in Taiwan in 2013.

"It is certain the H5N3 detected in geese raised at farms was found in Taiwan for the first time," Tsai said.

The CNA story said 101 of 137 farms tested in seven Taiwanese counties have been hit by avian flu recently. Of the 137 farms, 124 are goose farms and house 24% of Taiwan's domestic goose population.

In a report yesterday to the World Organization for Animal health (OIE), Taiwan officials said an H5N2 virus has struck seven geese farms and one abbatoir recently, sickening 2,254 of 22,788 birds. The sites were in Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Pingtung, and Taoyuan counties.

Officials said all the birds would be destroyed and that farms within 3 kilometers of the affected farms would be under increased surveillance for 3 months.

Outbreaks in Japan, Nigeria, China
In Japan, the detection of an H5 virus on a farm in the southern prefecture of Okayama has prompted plans to cull 200,000 chickens, according to a Japan Today story today. The outbreak follows ones that forced the destruction of 50,000 chickens in Miyazaki and Yamaguchi prefectures in December, the story notes.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, high mortality at live-bird markets and poultry farms in Kano and Lagos provinces led to the detection of an H5 virus, the Nigerian newspaper The Punch reported today. It said samples were sent to Padova, Italy, for further testing and that the government has reactivated its emergency preparedness plan for avian flu.

It was not immediately clear if the outbreak in Kano state is the same as one that Nigerian officials reported to the OIE on Jan 9. That one killed 1,370 birds in a backyard flock.

In other developments, Chinese officials reported to the OIE today that 93 wild birds that were found dead tested positive for H5N1. The birds were of three species, common pochard, whooper swan, and greater scaup, and were found in the Yellow River wetland of east-central China's Henan province.

See also:

Jan 16 CNA story

Jan 16 Sowetan story

Jan 15 Taiwan report to OIE

Jan 16 Japan Today report

Jan 16 The Punch story

Jan 16 Chinese report to OIE

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... gue-taiwan

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:34 am 
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SIX fresh confirmed cases of deadly avian influenza virus were announced Fridaday by Kano State Ministry of Agriculture.

Briefing Journalists commissioner for agriculture and natural resources in Kano, Alh. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, posited that six cases of the bird flu were confirmed of the 10 reported cases in the state.

Gawuna revealed that the virus were discovered in some commercial farmers in four local government areas including Kumbotso, Gwale, Tofa and Mingibir, insisting the identification of the farms would not be disclosed for security reason.

The confirmation further authenticated Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development earlier detection of unusual high mortality of birds in two poultry farms and live bird markets in Kano.

The federal government said samples forwarded to the National Veterinary Research Institute tested positive for H5 strain of Avian Influenza Virus, otherwise known as bird flu, adding that confirmatory samples were sent to the International Reference Laboratory in Padova, Italy, for further characterization.

However, the commissioner stressed that affected locations are currently being depopulated while detoxification had commenced but was quick to warn owners of farms and markers to report suspected cases to the ministry for immediate action.

" We have notice action on the suspected cases few weeks ago and we have seen commenced all necessary effort to curtail further spread. Already we have depopulated the locations for effective management. We earlier have 10 reported cases but 6 is currently confirmed at various locations in 4 local government areas". Alh. Gawuna revealed.

The commissioner said government has constituted committee of experts and professionals to work with the federal government team to map out strategy to curtail the spread.

He warned farmers against selling contaminated birds for their customers, posing danger to the society, urging them to rather report suspected case to government.

" We want to appeal on farmers to put fear of God in their minds and the danger of spreading this virus in the society. Farmers or sellers should please report any case or suspected case to government. Government would immediately move for necessary action i can assure you about that. Government is ready to compensate any farmers whose animals are confiscated due to this virus. Already our governor has directed immediate action and enabling environment to check the virus". Gawuna assured.

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news/nat ... tamination

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:09 am 
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Two Nigerian cities hit by bird flu, says authorities
Posted on 20 January 2015 - 08:45pm
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LAGOS: Thousands of chickens have been culled in southern Nigeria after the discovery of bird flu in some poultry farms, the local health authorities said on Tuesday.

State government officials in the financial capital, Lagos, and the oil city of Port Harcourt, said they had ordered the cull to prevent the spread of the disease.

Lagos State agriculture commissioner Gbolahan Lawal said birds were found to be infected in two locations, in the south of the city during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

"The bird samples were sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau State, and they were unfortunately found positive for the H5 strain of avian influenza," he added.

The affected farms were quarantined and there have been no reported cases since, he said, warning poultry farmers and sellers to report any high death rates of birds.

In Port Harcourt, 435 kilometres (270 miles) to the southeast, the Rivers State government said it had killed "hundreds of birds" in a farm hit by the virus.

Agriculture commissioner Emma Chinda said the authorities received a report on Jan 14 that a farm may have been infected and laboratory tests later confirmed the presence of the virus.

"On the basis of that, we had to take necessary steps. Apart from quarantining the farm, we had to depopulate the birds in the farm to stop further spread," Chinda added.

Officials said there was no indication the outbreak in Africa's most populous country was the H5N1 strain, which has killed more than 400 people worldwide since it first appeared in 2003.

The World Organisation for Animal Health said: "The Nigerian authorities are investigating and monitoring the situation and they will report the updated information in their next follow-up report." – AFP

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