2020–21 H5N8 outbreak

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In 2020 and 2021, an outbreak of Avian influenza subtype H5N8 occurred at poultry farms and among wild bird populations in several countries and continents, leading to the subsequent cullings of millions of birds to prevent a pandemic similar to that of the H5N1 outbreak in 2008.

Outbreak[edit source | edit]

Early outbreak in Saudi Arabia[edit source | edit]

On 4 February, Saudi Arabian government reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus on a poultry farm. The outbreak, which occurred in the central Sudair region, killed more than 22,000 birds in a few weeks.[1]

H5N8 spreads to Russia and Central Asia[edit source | edit]

In the summer months, H5N8 was detected in wild birds in western Russia and Kazakhstan, because this included waterbirds that migrate into northern and western Europe, it was considered likely that the virus would be detected there later in the year (as would be confirmed in October–November).[2]

International spread in late 2020 and early 2021[edit source | edit]

On October 22, the agriculture minister Carola Schouten of the Netherlands confirmed that H5N8 had been found in samples from wild birds in the country.[3] As a countermeasure, it was required that birds in poultry farms were kept indoors and isolated. From late October to mid November, it had spread to three chicken farms and a duck farm in the country, and the 320,000 birds in the farms had been eradicated to stop the spread.[4] Shortly after the first detection in the Netherlands, it was confirmed in the United Kingdom (October: poultry; November: wild birds and poultry), Germany (October: wild birds; November: wild birds and poultry), Republic of Ireland (October and November: wild birds), Belgium (November: wild birds), Denmark (November: wild birds and poultry), France (November: poultry) and Sweden (November: poultry).[2] These outbreaks resulted in countermeasures that were similar to those already taken in the Netherlands.[5][6]

According to official confirmed report from Ministry of Agriculture Foresty and Fisheries of Japan, multiple dead chickens were found in 36 places poultry farms, 15 of Shikoku Island, twelve in Kyushu Island, five in western Honshu, two places in Chiba Prefecture, each one of Awaji Island and Gifu Prefecture, Japan on November 5, 2020 to January 13, 2021. According to local official confirmed report, these cases were highly pathogenic H5N8 type flu.[citation needed]

On November 10, South Korea's agriculture ministry said it had confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in samples from wild birds in the central west of the country and issued its bird flu warning.[7]

On November 27, China's agriculture ministry reported that H5N8 had been found in wild swans in Shanxi province, while Norway detected its first case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in wild geese in Sandnes municipality, prompting the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to introduce a regional ban on outdoor poultry.[8][9]

On November 30, South Korea reported an outbreak of pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza at a farm in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province, killing over 19,000 ducks.[10]

The H5N8 avian influenza was reported in two districts of Indian state of Kerala in early January 2021 which killed hundreds of birds in late December 2020. Thousands of birds were culled. Avian influenza outbreaks of unknown subtypes were later also reported in five other states of India.[11][12][13] 160,000 birds in two poultry farms in Barwala, Panchkula and Raipur Rani are to be culled. 437,000 birds have died in this poultry belt between mid December and 8 January 2021.[14] By 9 January 2021, seven states confirmed the outbreak.[15]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Saudi Arabia reports H5N8 bird flu on farm". Khaleej Times. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Avian influenza overview – update on 19 November 2020, EU/EEA and the UK" (PDF). European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 19 November 2020.
  3. Ophokplicht pluimvee vanwege nieuwe vogelgriep, NOS (22nd October 2020)
  4. Vogelgriep rukt op, ook mensen kunnen rol spelen bij verspreiding, NOS (14th of November 2020)
  5. "Update1-Germany may cull up to 70,000 chickens as bird flu found on another farm". SF. 17 November 2020.
  6. "Sweden culls over 3,000 turkeys as bird flu moves through northern Europe". The Poultry Site. 19 November 2020.
  7. "South Korea confirms H5N8 bird flu in wild birds, issues warning". Reuters. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  8. China reports H5N8 bird flu in swans in Shanxi province: agriculture ministry Reuters
  9. Norway to ban outdoor poultry after bird flu case Reuters
  10. South Korea reports bird flu outbreak on duck farm: OIE Reuters
  11. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/bird-flu-outbreak-in-kerala-50000-birds-to-be-culled-in-two-districts-7133691/
  12. https://www.news18.com/amp/news/india/bird-flu-in-himachal-pradesh-kerala-rajasthan-haryana-mp-what-we-know-so-far-3248078.html
  13. https://www.firstpost.com/india/bird-flu-detected-in-dead-migratory-birds-in-himachal-pradesh-outbreak-reported-in-four-states-now-9170801.html/amp
  14. Dhaliwal, Tanbir (2021-01-08). "Death of over 4 lakh poultry birds in Panchkula's Barwala belt due to avian influenza". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  15. "Bird flu confirmed in seven states; samples from Delhi, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh sent for testing". The New Indian Express. PTI. 9 January 2021. Retrieved 2021-01-10.CS1 maint: others (link)

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