WattAgNet: France still bearing brunt of avian flu cases in Europe


French animal health officials detect both highly pathogenic and low pathogenic avian influenza strains

European countries reporting new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the H5N8 subtype in poultry are France, Germany, Italy and Russia, according to reports sent by the national animal health agencies to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) over the last week.

For the first time, the H5N5 virus variant has been detected in domestic poultry in Croatia.

France confirms 63 new HPAI outbreaks
In France, the number of confirmed outbreaks of HPAI has risen by 63 over the past week to 465 since November 2016, reports the French agriculture ministry. The worst-affected departments are Landes and Gers in the southwest portion of the country.

Nine new outbreaks of HPAI caused by the H5N8 virus have been reported to the OIE by the ministry in the last week. Five of the outbreaks were in Landes, where the virus was detected following suspicious clinical signs and/or mortality in chickens or ducks, or depopulation of domestic waterfowl in areas where the disease situation is regarded as unstable. The other cases were in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, where the virus was detected in poultry before transportation to other areas. At least 9,000 birds died or were destroyed as a result of these outbreaks but no details are given regarding the number of birds affected in most of these outbreaks.

Intensive surveillance for HPAI in France has also revealed the presence of low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses.


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