New highly pathogenic avian flu virus in northern Japan: it is transmitted to humans only in one situation

A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been found from wild duck droppings in the city of Monbetsu, Hokkaido, the prefectural government said.

Found in the feces, sampled by Hokkaido University on Oct. 24, was the H5N8 subtype virus, according to the prefecture.

The avian flu virus in Hokkaido

This marked the first case of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus being confirmed since April 2018 in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture, the prefecture said.

No wild bird has been reported to have died of avian flu in Monbetsu, the prefecture said.

The Hokkaido government is set to take measures, such as conducting a survey of birds within a 10 km radius of the place where the wild bird droppings were found.

A prefectural government official said that the virus will not transmit to humans outside of special circumstances, such as contacting living birds that are infected with the virus.

What is the avian virus?

“Avian influenza – source Wikipedia -, known informally as avian flu or bird flu, is a variety of influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

The type with the greatest risk is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

Bird flu is similar to swine flu, dog flu, horse flu and human flu as an illness caused by strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir almost entirely in birds. Avian influenza, for most purposes, refers to the influenza A virus”.

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Source:

The Japan Times

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