Japan confirms bird flu outbreak at egg farm with 11,000 chickens

Chickens in cages
Egg farm, photo:curtoicurto via Canva

Japan confirmed an outbreak of the highly pathogenic bird flu subtype H5N8 at an egg farm with 11,000 chickens.

The outbreak was discovered on Monday at a farm in Izumi City in Kagoshima prefecture, the agriculture ministry said in a statement. “It was confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype,” the ministry added.

A week ago, Japan killed 143,000 egg-laying chickens after an avian influenza outbreak at a farm in Yokote city in Akita Prefecture.

In recent weeks, several outbreaks of severe bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), a sign that the virus is spreading quickly.

The increase in the number of people worldwide getting infected from bird flu is becoming a source of concern for epidemiological experts, especially as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

China has reported more than twenty human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza in 2021 compared with only five last year. Six people died, and many of the others were critically ill.

When bird flu is detected, all animals, sick and healthy, are killed and their bodies disposed of.

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