Saturday, January 29, 2011

AFLOCKALYPSE: HPAI update, as seen by the medical community and in pop culture.

ProMED Mail 25 January 2011,, SNL.


Confirmation of H5 subtype positive isolate from a dead oriental magpie robin in the Yuen Long region on January 19th suggests that the Mai Po Nature Reserve (MPNR) and three poultry farms may be at risk for HPAI, now under enhanced surveillance. Currently no abnormal deaths of signs have been observed in the flocks. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has responded strongly, ordering the disinfection of the park in which the dead magpie was discovered, issuing advisory messages to poultry farmers, pet shop owners, and pet owners, inspecting farms and the wholesale market. Since the 4th of the month, the AFCD has inspected nearly four hundered villages, but has not uncovered unauthorized poultry. The current maximum fine for the unauthorized holding of chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, or quails is approximately US$6400, and repeat offenders may face a fine of US$12,800.


Following the discovery of 20 dead chickens on January 23, with 5 of 6 birds testing positive for H5N1, approximately 410 000 chickens were ordered culled this month in Miyazaki. Just prior, after 36 chickens were revealed dead at another farm on January 21, leading to the killing and incineration of 10 200 birds this past weekend. HPAI subtype H5N1 was also detected in isolates from wild birds in the area (23 January 2011). The first national case concerning HPAI in domestic poultry occurred in November 2010, and these recent developments inflate concerns for health and prosperity in the Shimane Prefecture. Miyazaki is recognized as a major poultry producer, and development of the regional outbreak suggests a major economic blow that could cripple the local industry.


The overnight death of possibly 5,000 red-winged blackbirds in Arkansas suggested the possibility of an outbreak of HPAI, but recent results published by the University of Georgia in their Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study have ruled out viral, bacteria, and poison causes, and point towards blunt-force trauma.

Others have suggested alternate causes… go to 43:00.


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