November 16, 2021


Multiple bird flu outbreaks reported in Europe and Asia


Several outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported in recent days to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), in a sign the virus is spreading quickly again.


The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has put the poultry industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds. Outbreaks also often lead to trade restrictions.


Furthermore, China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year, more than in the whole of 2020.


South Korea reported an outbreak at a farm of around 770,000 poultry in Chungcheongbuk-do, OIE said on November 15, citing a report from the South Korean authorities. All animals were slaughtered.


Japan reported its first outbreak of the 2021 winter season, at a poultry farm in the northeast of the country, OIE said, confirming a statement last week by Japan's agriculture ministry. The serotype in this outbreak was H5N8.


In Europe, Norway reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds, OIE said.


In Belgium, the government put the country on increased risk for bird flu, ordering poultry to be kept indoors as of November 15, after a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu was identified in a wild goose near Antwerp. This followed a similar move in neighboring France earlier this month and in the Netherlands in October.


- Reuters