In recent days, officials reported many outbreaks of fast-spreading bird flu, avian influenza in Asia and Europe to the World Organizations for Animal Health (OIE). The virus put the poultry industry of these continents on alert as previous outbreaks led to the killing of tens of millions of birds. The current situation is also attracting the attention of epidemiologists across the world as the virus is also transmissible in humans just like the coronavirus pandemic.
BREAKING: Slovakia confirms outbreak of highly pathogenic H5 bird flu – World Organization for Animal Health
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) December 29, 2016
So far this year, China reported twenty-one human infections with the avian influenza subtype H5N6, and the number is more significant than in the whole of 2020. In addition, the OIE said on Monday; South Korea reported an epidemic at a farm of about seven hundred seventy thousand poultry in Chungcheongbuk-do by quoting a report from the South Korean officials. The poultry officials slaughtered all the animals.
Likewise, in Asia, Japan reported its initial outbreak of the 2021 winter season in the northeast of the country. OIE confirmed that the outbreak erupted in the poultry farm by citing last week’s statement of Japan’s agriculture ministry. The serotype of the epidemic was H5N8. The OIE further said that Norway reported an H5N1 bird flu outburst in the Rogaland region in a flock of around seven thousand birds.
Bird Flu Prevention Zone
Naturally, bird flu circulates among wild birds, and when they migrate to the United Kingdom from mainland Europe in winter, the virus can also spread to poultry farms and other captive birds. The Belgium government put the nation at high risk for bird flu, as of Monday ordering poultry to be kept indoors, as the health officials identified a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu in a wild goose near Antwerp.
Earlier this month, France health ministry also followed a similar move while the Netherlands ordered the precaution in October. Finally, at the start of November, the officials declared the bird flu prevention zone across the United Kingdom, legally requiring all birds’ keepers to follow high biosecurity measures after flock poultry culled near Dundee in Scotland after the outburst of the bird flu.
In rare cases, bird flu can affect humans if individuals touch infected birds directly, their bedding or droppings, and cooking infected poultry. However, flu can’t be spread through poultry products.