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Germany - Avian influenza detected in foxes in Lower Saxony

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  • Germany - Avian influenza detected in foxes in Lower Saxony

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    Influenza virus detected in foxes in Lower Saxony


    AVIAN INFLUENZA FOUND IN MORE MAMMALS - ADAPTION TO MAMMALS SHOULD BE OBSERVED WITH CAUTION

    Hanover . The Braunschweig-Hannover Food and Veterinary Institute of the State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES) has detected avian influenza (highly pathogenic avian influenza virus) in a total of four foxes. One animal was killed in the Schaumburg district in Lower Saxony, the other foxes were animals found dead in the Hameln district and in the city of Hanover, as well as an animal killed in the Verden district. The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) has confirmed the infections of all four foxes.

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype now circulates year-round in northern German wild bird populations and causes what is known as bird flu or avian influenza in poultry. The animal disease is currently leading to major losses in poultry stocks in Lower Saxony and Germany. The evidence of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 in mammals, for example in seals or in mink farms, which has recently become increasingly known, indicates that the virus adapts better to mammals. In order to pursue this question, predators such as foxes, raccoons and martens have been monitored for influenza viruses in Lower Saxony since last year. To date, 179 examinations have been carried out. These are the first positive proofs in foxes in Lower Saxony and in Germany. The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype has already been detected several times in various wild mammals worldwide, including red foxes, raccoons, lynxes, bears and otters. Records in foxes have been in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Estonia, Japan, USA, Canada and the UK as of 2020. In September 2022, the virus of the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5 was detected in the FLI in a dead coati in a zoo in Lower Saxony. bear and otter. Records in foxes have been in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Estonia, Japan, USA, Canada and the UK as of 2020. In September 2022, the virus of the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5 was detected in the FLI in a dead coati in a zoo in Lower Saxony. bear and otter. Records in foxes have been in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Estonia, Japan, USA, Canada and the UK as of 2020. In September 2022, the virus of the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5 was detected in the FLI in a dead coati in a zoo in Lower Saxony.

    Infections of mammals occur again and again worldwide. The virus seems to adapt better to mammals, but not to humans according to current knowledge. Nevertheless, it is important to keep an eye on developments. The Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture (ML) and LAVES are therefore asking the districts with an increased incidence of influenza virus-positive wild birds to send in more mammals that have been found dead or killed. As usual, dead animals should not be handled unprotected. The investigations carried out revealed no evidence that transmission from fox to fox had taken place. It seems more likely that the foxes were infected through contact with infected wild birds, for example by eating an infected bird.

    So far, no case of avian influenza in humans has been reported in Germany. As in many other countries, there are surveillance systems for influenza in Germany that are able to detect such cases at an early stage. The suspicion, the illness and the death of people from avian influenza viruses are notifiable in Germany. Previous experience with bird flu has shown that people who come into close contact with infected poultry are particularly at risk. Overall, however, the risk can still be assessed as low. The Lower Saxony Ministry of Health draws attention to the fact that the bird flu find in foxes in Lower Saxony has so far not resulted in a new risk situation for humans. The ML draws attention to

    https://www.ml.niedersachsen.de/star...en-220756.html

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    Avian influenza virus H5N1: Cases in foxes in Lower Saxony are not surprising

    03/21/2023 short messages

    The National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza of the FLI confirmed an infection with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus ( HPAIV ) of the subtype H5N1 in samples from four foxes from Lower Saxony. The responsible food and veterinary institute Braunschweig-Hannover of the State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES) carried out the initial examination of the foxes with a positive result. Given the continued presence of the virus in wild bird populations, such transmissions are likely through contact of carnivores with HPAIV-infected wild bird carcasses not unexpected. Such cases are still sporadically detected worldwide. Due to the widespread distribution of HPAIV H5N1 , further cases, especially among wild carnivores, can therefore also be expected in Germany.

    Infections have been reported in several mammalian species worldwide, including foxes, otters, seals, black bears, grizzly bears and two domestic cats. The infected mammals are believed to have contracted from eating dead infected wild waterfowl. They may have ingested large amounts of virus.

    HPAIV H5N1 , which is currently rampant almost globally, is still primarily a virus adapted to birds, as the numerous cases in various wild bird species and also in poultry show. The large amounts of virus in infected birds and their excretions favor cross-species infections, including in mammals (so-called spill-over infections).

    In samples from mink (from a fur farm in Spain) and occasionally also in martens, foxes, seals and grizzly bears, the first virus mutations were detected that give the viruses advantages when reproducing in mammals. However, the observed mutations are only the first steps in the direction of adaptation. For effective transmission from mammal to mammal, the virus has to overcome a number of other hurdles, of which there is no evidence so far. However, a high level of safety precautions must be followed when handling diseased and dead wild carnivores.

    However, infected poultry farms remain the most important interface between humans and HPAI H5N1 viruses. The continued systematic control of HPAI in poultry farms remains the most important tool in preventing human exposure to these viruses.

    https://www.fli.de/de/aktuelles/kurz...ueberraschend/
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela
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