H5N1 bird flu cases confirmed in Togo poultry farm
Togo has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus on a poultry farm as concern spreads across the world over increasing cases.
According to a Thursday report by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the outbreak is near the capital Lome and has already killed 1,105 of a flock of 3,000 guinea fowl.
The Paris-based OIE said the remaining birds being slaughtered, citing a report from Togo authorities.
Togo was among West African countries to have faced outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu, or avian influenza, earlier this year.
H5N1 and other severe strains of bird flu have been spreading in Europe and Asia in recent weeks. The disease is often deadly for birds and can lead to poultry trade restrictions.
Several outbreaks of H5N1in Europe and Asia have been reported in recent days to OIE, in a sign the virus is spreading quickly again.
The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has put the poultry industry on alert after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.
It is attracting the attention too of epidemiologists as the virus can be transmitted to humans. China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year, more than in the whole of 2020.
South Korea reported an outbreak at a farm of around 770,000 poultry in Chungcheongbuk-do, the OIE said on Monday, citing a report from the South Korean authorities. All animals were slaughtered.
Also in Asia, Japan reported its first outbreak of the 2021 winter season, at a poultry farm in the north-east of the country, the OIE said, confirming a statement last week by Japan’s agriculture ministry. The serotype in this outbreak was H5N8.
In Europe, Norway reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds, the OIE said.
Bird flu can affect humans in rare cases if people touch infected birds, their droppings or bedding, or while preparing infected poultry for cooking.