Via CIDRAP, Robert Roos survey a complicated scene: Nigeria, Israel, West Bank fight avian flu in poultry. Excerpt:
H5N1 avian influenza has erupted in new outbreaks in Nigeria, Israel, and probably Palestine's West Bank in recent days, as a winter of high avian flu activity continues.
In addition, US officials reported more details on the highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreak on a California turkey farm, including that the farm housed 145,000 birds before the virus surfaced.
Nigerian outbreaks far from earlier ones
H5N1 opened a new front in Nigeria, with eight outbreaks in the country's south and southwest, according to a report the government filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday. On Jan 23 Nigeria had reported seven outbreaks in central and north-central locations.
The latest Nigerian outbreaks involved a total of 12,055 sick birds, with 12,037 deaths, out of 28,274 susceptible ones. Most of the outbreaks targeted farms with layer chickens, but a zoo and a market in Lagos also were hit. Officials said they found 30 cases with 12 deaths among various bird species at the zoo and 113 fatal cases at the market. The source of the virus was listed as unknown.
The report said officials planned to quarantine and disinfect the affected sites, but it did not mention plans to destroy surviving birds, which is the typical response to highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks.
Israeli and Palestinian outbreaks
In the wake of an H5N1 outbreak on a big turkey farm in Haifa last week, Israeli authorities on Jan 25 informed the OIE of outbreaks involving broiler chickens and turkeys on two farms in the northern town of Hadera, about 28 miles from Haifa.
The outbreaks resulted in 18,500 cases among 57,000 susceptible birds, with 6,700 deaths; the rest of the birds were destroyed. Israeli authorities said the recent H5N1 outbreaks are the first in the country since 2012.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, an H5 outbreak erupted in a northern location not far from Hadera, according to a Jan 24 OIE report from Palestinian officials. The virus struck all the layer hens in a flock of 5,000, killing 4,500 of them and prompting culling of the rest.
Officials said the virus is assumed to have reached the farm via people, vehicles, feed, or other fomites. Results of tests to further characterize the virus were pending.