WattAgNet: Is Europe gaining control over avian flu?


Amount of new avian influenza cases is on the decline

There are indications that European countries are getting highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the poultry population under control. The most critical period – the winter arrival of migrating wild birds that transmit the virus over long distances – is coming to a close and the number of new cases reported by the national animal health authorities appears to be diminishing.

However, the HPAI still represents a threat to the health of the region’s poultry sector. New cases of the disease caused by the H5N8 subtype of the virus have been reported in commercial poultry in France, Germany and Italy over the last week, and seven states have informed the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about the detection of the virus in wild birds.

France: HPAI outbreak total approaches 500

In its latest report dated March 29, the French agriculture ministryhad increased by 20 the number of confirmed outbreaks of HPAI since November 2016, bringing the total to 485. Of the departments in the southwest of the country affected by the disease, by far the largest number of outbreaks have been in Landes, with 286.

In the last week, the ministry reported to the OIE 23 new HPAI outbreaks in commercial poultry caused by the H5N8 virus variant. These cases were confirmed over a two-month period from January 25, and 18 of them were in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Affected birds included ducks, chickens and waterfowl, and the cases were detected as a result of suspicious clinical signs…

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