Europe, Asia on alert after reporting ‘severe’ avian influenza outbreak

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 16, 2021, 08:27 AM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year. India had reported its first case of human transmission in July this year when an 11-year-old boy died of H5N1 virus

Several outbreaks of severe bird flu have been reported in Europe and Asia to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), triggering fears of human transmission.

China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year, which is more than in the whole of 2020, according to local media reports.

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

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

In India, some parts of the state reported the spread of avian influenza. In western Rajasthan state, 189 birds died due to H5N1 virus on Sunday.

Also read | Bird Flu triggers worries of another pandemic

India had reported its first case of human transmission in July this year when an 11-year-old boy died of H5N1 virus while undergoing treatment for leukaemia and pneumonia in Dehli’s AIIMS hospital.

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

Also read | Russia reports first cases of H5N8 bird flu in humans

The Belgian government has put the country on a bird flu lockdown, ordering poultry to be kept indoors as of Monday, after a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu was identified in a wild goose near Antwerp.

Similarly, France and Netherlands also announced strict measures to curb the spread of virus in October.

Germany reported several cases in a couple of farms with the latest outbreak seen on Wednesday.

Also read | Japan confirms this season's first bird flu outbreak, culling 143,000 chickens

Bird flu or Avian influenza is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well.

According to experts, Bird flu cannot be transmitted through the eating of poultry products.

According to World Health Organization, from January 2003 to July 8, 2021, there were 239 cases of human infection of avian influenza. Of these cases, 455 were fatal. The last was reported from Laos on October 31, 2020.

(With inputs from agencies)

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