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Thailand Issues Bird Flu Warning after Outbreaks in 30 Countries

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Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has issued a warning to poultry farmers that deadly strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been detected in several countries.

Sorravis Thaneto, the director-general of DLD, cited reports last year from the World Organization for Animal Health, formerly the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), that outbreaks have been reported in 61 countries worldwide.

More than 30 countries in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia have reported bird flu outbreaks of H5N1, H5N6, H5N2, and H5N5.

In Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and China, the H5N6 strain is the most prevalent strain.

South Korea is experiencing a wave of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks that started in November.

Veterinary authorities in South Korea have recorded 23 HPAI outbreaks in poultry over the past three weeks. These were reported between January 14 and February 12.

Since November, more than 4.8 million poultry in South Korea has been affected by HPAI. The outbreaks have all occurred on farms.

Burd flu detected in humans

In Japan this winter, 16 outbreaks have been confirmed. Fourteen of these cases have involved H5N1 viruses. In November of 2021, two flocks of poultry tested positive for the H5N8 variant.

In Bihar in eastern India, the H5N1 HPAI bird flu virus has been detected for the first time in more than two years.

To address the bird flu issue in Thailand, the DLD reiterated the need for precautionary measures in the domestic sector. The DLD also tightened its biological security protocols and provided industry-best practice advice to poultry farms and farmers.

In addition, the DLD urged poultry farmers to inform livestock or related officials of any unusual deaths or illnesses.

Chinese authorities reported the first cases of the avian influenza A (H5N6) virus in humans for 2022, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In January, a 68-year-old man from Sichuan province and a 55-year-old woman from Zhejiang province tested positive for the disease. During the time of reporting, both patients had previously been exposed to poultry.

They were not infected by family members, according to the WHO.

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