While (so far, at least), we're not seeing the same level of avian flu activity this fall in Asia and Europe as we did last year, we continue to see sporadic outbreaks (or detections in wild birds) in a number of countries Including Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and South Korea.
We've also seen the arrival of a new version of H5N6 on both continents, derived from reassortment of HPAI H5N8 that spread across Europe and Africa last fall, and a European HxN6 virus.
|Credit Tottori University|
During the month of November South Korea reported several outbreaks/detections of avian flu, including both LPAI and HPAI H5 and H7 viruses. Two weeks ago, they reported an outbreak of this newly reassorted H5N6 virus at a Gochang duck farm.
Today we are learning of a new outbreak on a large duck farm in Yeongam, South Jeolla (about 50 miles south of Gochang) of an H5N6 virus - suspected to be HPAI - on which we are awaiting further genetic analysis.
We'll have to wait to find out whether it is HPAI, and whether it is the classic Asian H5N6 virus which first arrived in South Korea last year, or the the new European reassortment.The slightly syntax-challenged translation of the announcement from South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture (MAFRA) reads:
Confirmation of H5 type AI and H5N6 type virus of Jeonnam Yeongam species duck
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock Food and Beverage (Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) said that H5N6 strain was confirmed as a result of additional close inspection of the agricultural, livestock and livestock quarantine headquarters of Chonglian farms.
The H5N6 strain is the same type as the high-fever AI virus that was confirmed as a highly pathogenic AI for the first time at the poultry farm. Whether the disease is highly pathogenic will be confirmed late this evening.
A bit more intelligible is the following English language report from Yonhap News.
Updated : Dec 11, 2017 - 15:11
South Korea confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza at a duck farm in the southwestern region and culled some 76,000 ducks to prevent the further spread of the virus, the agriculture ministry said Monday.
The H5N6 bird flu was discovered on a farm in Yeongam, some 380 kilometers south of Seoul, on Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.
The ministry said 76,000 ducks were slaughtered at five duck farms located within a 3 kilometer radius of the site to prevent a wider spread of the highly contagious virus.
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Another report indicates that a a 24-hours standstill order has been issued for 6 provinces (Daejeon, Gwangju, Sejong, South Chungcheong Province, and South and North Jeolla).
Update : 2017-12-11 16:01:08South Korea has issued a 24-hour standstill order for poultry farms in six cities and provinces after a duck farm in South Jeolla Province has been confirmed to be infected with the H5 type of avian influenza.
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With the 2018 Winter Olympic Games - which will be held in Pyeongchang County - now just two months away (Feb 9th-25th), the South Korean government is doing everything they can to head off any avian flu `distractions' that could affect the attendance or enjoyment of the games.
While the relatively low number of avian flu outbreaks this fall has been welcome, a lot can happen over the next 60 days.