DUBLIN – The H5N8 avian influenza virus was confirmed in a wild duck in County Wexford, Ireland’s Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine recently reported.
“The finding is not unexpected given the detection of highly pathogenic H5N8 in wild birds in Great Britain in the last two weeks, and comes one week after the Minister introduced regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring the compulsory housing of poultry as a result of the increased threat,” the agency said in a statement. “Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Great Britain and mainland Europe. The results of these tests will not be available until the middle of next week.”
Ireland is the latest country to be impacted by the spread of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. France confirmed an outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in the west of the country, which previously had been unaffected by recent outbreaks, according to published reports. More than 80 cases of H5N8 have been confirmed in domestic poultry.
Meanwhile, different strains of highly pathogenic bird flu have spread in Asia. China has reported at least 20 human cases of H7N9 avian influenza. At least three people have died and more than 170,000 birds have been culled in order to contain the spread of the disease.
In South Korea recently, two dead cats were found to be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, according to published reports. So far, South Korea also has culled approximately 26 million birds after the H5N6 virus was found. A Reuters report said officials with the US Dept. of Agriculture are working toward an agreement with South Korea to allow imports of table eggs, which are in oversupply in the United States.
October production of 7,506 million table eggs was the highest for any month since February 2015, two months before laying hen numbers began declining sharply because of an outbreak of avian influenza last year, according to the a USDA Chickens and Eggs report. October 2016 egg production was up 11 percent from October 2015, when flocks were being replenished, and was up 1 percent from October 2014, prior to the AI outbreak.