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Netherlands - Two dead foxes tested positive for H5N1

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  • Netherlands - Two dead foxes tested positive for H5N1

    May 26, 2021

    Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) has diagnosed bird flu in two foxes from the province of Groningen and characterized the virus as H5N1. The sequences of the avian flu virus in the foxes are similar to those identified in infected wild birds from the same region. It is therefore likely that the foxes became infected from eating a bird infected with bird flu. The virus found in foxes is not related to the zoonotic HPAI H5N1 strains that have also infected humans in Asia.

    H5N1 infestations in foxes have been previously observed in other parts of the world and recently in England. Extensive spread of the virus among foxes is unlikely as foxes generally live in families and not in large groups. In addition, an infected fox develops serious symptoms within a few days, so that it does not move much anymore. Therefore, the risk of extensive spread within the foxes is rated as low. The foxes are thought to be unlikely to transmit the virus to other wild animals. However, other wild animals such as seals, dogs and cats are known to be susceptible to bird flu. Recently, HPAI H5N8 virus, to which the HPAI H5N1 virus is genetically related, has been detected in seals in England and Sweden.

    Advice to leash dogs in parts of Friesland and Groningen
    Avian influenza has recently only been diagnosed in dead wild birds in wetlands in Friesland and Groningen. The advice from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is therefore to keep dogs on a leash in these provinces in places where dead birds lie to prevent dogs from coming into contact with infected dead birds.

    Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) heeft bij twee vossen uit de provincie Groningen vogelgriep vastgesteld en het virus getypeerd als H5N1. De sequenties van het vogelgriepvirus bij de vossen lijken op de sequenties die zijn vastgesteld bij besmette wilde vogels uit dezelfde regio. Het is daarom waarschijnlijk dat de vossen besmet zijn geraakt door het eten van een met vogelgriep besmette vogel. Het bij de vossen gevonden virus is niet verwant aan de zoönotische hoog pathogene aviaire influenza (HPAI) H5N1 stammen die in Azië ook mensen geïnfecteerd hebben.
    "Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~

  • #2
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    • #3

      Volume 27, Number 11—November 2021
      Research Letter
      Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus in Wild Red Foxes, the Netherlands, 2021

      Jolianne M. Rijks , Hanna Hesselink, Pim Lollinga, Renee Wesselman, Pier Prins, Eefke Weesendorp, Marc Engelsma, Rene Heutink, Frank Harders, Marja Kik, Harry Rozendaal, Hans van den Kerkhof, and Nancy Beerens
      Author affiliations: Dutch Wildlife Health Centre, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands (J.M. Rijks, H. Hesselink, M. Kik); Stichting Faunavisie Wildlife Care, Westernieland, the Netherlands (P. Lollinga); Stichting Faunavisie Wildlife Care, Blijham, the Netherlands (R. Wesselman); Dierenkliniek Winsum, Winsum, the Netherlands (P. Prins); Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, Lelystad, the Netherlands (E. Weesendorp, M. Engelsma, R. Heutink, F. Harders, N. Beerens); Dutch Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority, Utrecht (H. Rozendaal); Coordination Centre for Communicable Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands (H. van den Kerkhof)


      We detected infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus clade in 2 red fox (Vulpes vulpes) cubs found in the wild with neurologic signs in the Netherlands. The virus is related to avian influenza viruses found in wild birds in the same area...


      • #4

        Fox with bird flu found in Dorst, RIVM asks for alertness
        Yesterday at 10:02 PM • Updated today at 10:57 AM


        At the beginning of this month, a fox was found in Dorst that was infected with bird flu. The animal stood out for its deviant behavior. The fox showed brain symptoms, which means that it fell over and walked in circles. The chance that people are infected by the fox is not great. This is stated in a letter from Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture and Hugo de Jonge of Public Health to the House of Representatives.
        Written by
        Hans Janssen

        After the discovery, the animal was killed and examined by the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research in Lelystad, an independent institute for animal diseases in the Netherlands.

        Linked to bird flu
        The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has also looked into the fox. An analysis has shown that the virus that made the animal sick is very similar to bird flu symptoms that have been found in wild birds and poultry in recent years.

        If the bird flu virus is found on a poultry farm, in most cases this leads to culling and the announcement of transport bans. Parts of the municipalities of Deurne, Baarle-Nassau and Reusel-De Mierden have recently been confronted with this in Brabant.

        The fox concerned the type H5N1. The chance that people will become infected with bird flu is very small or they must have (had) intensive contact with the animals in question. In addition, bird flu is usually not dangerous for humans. People who get sick from it often only have mild complaints.

        Watch out for animals with brain symptoms
        Despite the low risk of infecting people by a fox with bird flu, RIVM issues a warning. According to the institute, the find is a reason for alertness when seeing foxes and other mammals with brain symptoms, which may have been caused by bird flu.

        Dead mammals such as foxes and mustelids can be reported via the website of the Dutch Wildlife Health Center (DWHC). This makes it possible to investigate what caused the animals to die or what they suffered. Should the bird flu virus be found, it will be possible to investigate how fatal this pathogen can be for mammals.

        Rare Contamination
        It is rare for the virus to be transmitted to wildlife such as foxes, RIVM reports. If foxes or dogs have become infected, it is often because they have bitten into infected bird carcasses. It was previously known that felines can contract the bird flu virus.

        The two ministers have not announced who found the fox and where in Dorst the animal was noticed by its behavior.


        • #5
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