Disease

Bird Flu – H5N8 strikes Nepal for first time; Vietnam reports H5N1, H5N6

Nepal’s livestock department recently reported the country’s first outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu, which stuck a commercial farm, as several countries in Europe reported more detections, including the already hard-hit southwestern section of France.

In related developments, Vietnam reported more outbreaks from two other highly pathogenic strains: H5N1 and H5N6.

Nepal’s H5N8 outbreak began on Mar 1 at a layer farm in Koshi zone in the southeastern part of the country, according a Mar 10 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus hit layers in two different sheds, one housing 40-week-old birds and the other containing 20-week-old poultry. Of 6,200 susceptible birds, the virus killed 3,650, and authorities culled the remaining ones to contain the spread of the disease. Rapid response teams also destroyed eggs, feed, egg trays, and some local hens. Surveillance has been stepped up in the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, Nepalese officials also reported another H5N1 outbreak, the third reported in recent weeks in Nepal. The latest outbreak occurred not far from the H5N8 outbreak in poultry. The event began on Mar 2 at a small zoo at a recreation park. The virus killed 6 of 14 whooper swans and 1 Asian openbill stork. Officials temporarily closed the park, as workers cleaned and disinfected the sheds and buried the dead birds.

Malaria declared an epidemic in Burundi

Burundi is suffering a worrying malaria epidemic, with more than 800 deaths since the beginning of the year. These figures are more than a quarter of the 3000 who died from malaria in 2016. Out of the 11 million total population, more than eight million cases of affected people were recorded in 2016.

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