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  • AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

    S. Korea Lifts Bird Flu Restrictions

    # 2015

    Three months after it began, South Korea has sounded the all-clear over the bird flu outbreaks that spread across that nation in April. The last reported outbreak was in mid-May, and so if no further outbreaks occur, that nation will be declare `bird-flu free' in mid August.

    Of course, in countries previously affected by bird flu, being declared free of the virus is often just a transitory phase.

    Interestingly, South Korea is laying the blame for the outbreak on `migratory birds or foreign workers and tourists who visited China or Vietnam'.

    This is curious because no explanation for why a possible human vector might be suspected has been provided. Migratory birds, of course, are often mentioned as possible vectors.

    This from the Straits Times.

    June 30, 2008

    S. Korea lifts all restrictions imposed in wake of bird flu outbreaks

    SEOUL - SOUTH KOREA has lifted restrictions imposed to curb an outbreak of bird flu which led to the culling of more than eight million birds, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

    It said curbs on the movement of birds, people and vehicles were lifted in all districts hit by avian flu as of Sunday.

    South Korea has culled more than eight million birds since April 1. This year's outbreak is the country's worst with damage estimated at 200 billion won (S$260 million).

    No confirmed case has been reported since May 12, the ministry said.

    'If no new cases are reported, we will declare the country free of the disease in August,' a ministry spokesman said.

    In the country's 2003-2004 outbreak 5.28 million birds were culled, while a 2006-2007 outbreak resulted in 2.8 million birds being destroyed.

    South Korea hopes to proclaim itself free of the disease in mid-August and report it to the World Organisation for Animal Health, according to the ministry.

    Under the organisation's regulations, a country can officially declare itself free of the disease if no new cases of bird flu have been found for three months.

    The ministry said it suspected this year's bird flu outbreak was caused by migratory birds or foreign workers and tourists who visited China or Vietnam.

    Curious, indeed.

    posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 8:32 AM

  • #2
    Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

    FluTrackers thread on South Korea outbreaks:


    • #3
      Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

      South Korea To Begin Year-Round Bird Flu Monitoring

      # 2165

      South Korea learned an expensive lesson this spring; that unlike man, the H5N1 virus doesn't bother to read calendars.

      Previously thought to only pose a serious threat to South Korea during the late fall and winter months (Nov-Mar), heightened testing and surveillance was pretty much limited to that 4-month window.

      This year, of course, things changed. South Korea saw their worst bird flu outbreak ever, and it started in early April and ran through May 12th.

      Given the dangers (and the cost) of another outbreak, South Korea will begin stepped up year-round surveillance of migratory and resident birds, and bi-weekly testing at poultry and duck farms for H5N1 and other avian influenzas.

      SKorea to start year-round monitoring for bird flu

      Tue Jul 22, 2:30 AM ET

      SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea will start year-round monitoring for bird flu after this year's outbreak -- the country's worst -- began later than normal, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

      It said migratory and resident wild birds would be monitored regularly and all chicken and duck farms would be inspected every other week for both the virulent and less contagious strains of avian influenza.

      Some 23 monitoring teams will be established nationwide.

      Quarantine authorities were caught by surprise when an outbreak began in early April and swept through most of the country.

      In the past a heightened bird flu alert was in force from November to March, when migratory birds stay in the country and weather conditions may help spread the virus.
      (Continue . . .)
      posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 9:01 AM


      • #4
        Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

        South Korea : Bird Flu Infection In Mammals

        # 2166

        To anyone who has been following the avian influenza story for very long, today's news - that the variant of bird flu that swept through South Korea this spring can infect mammals - isn't exactly earthshaking.

        We've seen mammalian H5N1 infections before.

        It is a reminder, however, that we are dealing with a species jumping pathogen. And that is always worthy of concern.

        A little background follows, then the report from the Korean Times.

        The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the H5N1 virus is that area of its genetic sequence that allows it to attach to, and infect, host cells. Much like a key into a padlock, the RBD must `fit' the host cell in order for it to bind.

        Different viruses have an affinity for different types of cells. That is why most viruses are selective as to what organ systems they attack, or even what species are susceptible.

        This explains why a virus might affect a dog, or a cat, or a bird, yet not affect humans. This species selectivity is known as a `host range'.

        Viruses generally have a fairly narrow host range.

        The H5N1 virus has shown an ability to infect a surprisingly wide range of hosts. Many species of birds are susceptible, of course. But we've also seen infections in cats (including tigers), dogs, martens, civets, and of course humans.

        Researchers have successfully infected cattle with the H5N1 virus, along with ferrets and mice for testing.

        It seems the H5N1 virus isn't very particular.

        07-22-2008 18:56

        `Bird Flu Strain Can Be Transmitted to Mammals'

        By Kim Tae-jong
        Staff Reporter

        Quarantine authorities said Tuesday that the virus strain of avian influenza that swept the country in April could be transmitted to mammals, but not necessarily to humans.

        The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sent samples from infected birds to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention for detailed analysis.

        The U.S. agency concluded the virus from the sample could be transmitted to mammals but that there was no proof it could infect humans, an official from the ministry said.

        ``It was impossible to directly test if it can cause illness in humans. Alternatively, we chose a weasel for testing and when it was infected, it showed similar symptoms to bird flu,'' the official said at a news briefing.

        He declined a ``yes or no'' answer over the possibility of the virus infecting humans, citing the lack of human testing.

        (Continue . . .)
        posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 9:28 AM


        • #5
          Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

          The HA of the H5N1 in Korea, Japan, and Russia has M230I, which was in the Gharbiya cluster in Egypt and is on seasonal flu (H1N1, H3N2, infleunza B).


          • #6
            Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

            S. Korea: Cat May Have Died From Bird Flu

            # 2171

            First the story (reparagraphed to improve readability) from the Chosun Ilbo, then some discussion.

            Cat May Have Died of Bird Flu
            Updated July.24,2008 09:45 KST

            Quarantine authorities are investigating whether a cat died of bird flu in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, where a highly pathogenic strain of the disease broke out in April. If the cat is found to have died of avian influenza, it would be the first mammal to die of the disease in Korea.

            Dr. Kim Chul-joong, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Chungnam National University, said Wednesday, ?We isolated the highly pathogenic strain of avian flu from the dead cat found along the Mangyeong River in Gimje and have asked the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service to confirm the cause of death of the cat.?

            The strain of bird flu found in the country in April and May is known to infect not only poultry but also mammals such as rats and ferrets. If the cat is confirmed to have died from bird flu, quarantine authorities may have to order a cull of dogs, cats and other mammals in the wild.

            However, Kim Chang-seob, chief veterinary officer of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said, ?Even though the cat might have died from the avian influenza virus, cats? somatological characteristics do not transfer the virus to human bodies. Therefore the chances of humans being infected with the virus remain slim.

            The idea that cats (and other mammals) have died from the H5N1 bird flu virus is certainly nothing new. We have anecdotal reports going back nearly five years, along with controlled laboratory experiments showing the susceptibility of a wide range of host species.

            Accurate or apocryphal, the following story has been around since at least 2005.

            In Indonesia, infected birds are purportedly called `plop' by villagers, an onomatopoeic representation of the sound a bird makes when it falls from a tree, dead of bird flu.

            Cats infected by bird flu, reportedly scream when they fall from trees, and (so the story goes) are called `Arrrgh Plop' by the natives.

            We also have scientific studies, such as this one from late 2006, where 20% of stray cats tested in Java, Indonesia showed antibodies to the H5N1 virus.

            Indonesia scientist says 1/5th of stray cats carry bird flu virus
            Monday January 15, 2007
            (Kyodo) _ About 100 of 500 stray cats surveyed in Indonesia were carrying the H5N1 bird flu virus, a local scientist said Monday.

            C.A. Nidom, who first reported that bird flu had entered Indonesia in 2003 but was ignored by the government, told Kyodo News the finding was based on his research funded by the Ministry of National Education and conducted on Java Island and in Lampung Province of Sumatra Island from September to December last year.

            And from March of 2007, we have this story carried by Bloomberg News.

            Canary Gets Last Laugh: Study Probes Bird Flu in Cats
            By Jason Gale and Karima Anjani

            March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Cats should think twice before they swallow the canary, say researchers studying if felines roaming the streets of Asia may increase the global threat of bird flu.

            Domestic and stray cats that prey on birds in Southeast Asia may play a critical role in transforming avian influenza into a global pandemic, virus-tracking scientists say.

            To investigate this, researchers next month will begin the world's largest examination of bird flu in stray cats in Indonesia, where a survey found one in five felines carry the lethal H5N1 virus in some areas. Cats, because of their close interactions with humans, may provide a conduit for the transmission of the flu between birds and people.

            Given all of this background, it shouldn't come as a shock that a cat is suspected to have died from the H5N1 virus in Korea. I imagine it happens far more often than we hear about.

            Nonetheless, this announcement may lead to culling of cats, dogs and `other mammals' in the affected areas, and to policy changes in future outbreaks.

            The culling of cats, dogs, and small mammals is a tactic that South Korea has employed in the past.

            The fear obviously is that small mammals could be hidden reservoirs of the H5N1 virus, and could reintroduce it back into a country's poultry industry.

            Certainly enhanced testing of mammals in the affected area makes a lot of sense, both for active infections, and for antibodies to the virus. We desperately need more research in this area.

            Whether a new culling operation more than 10 weeks after the last reported outbreak in that nation makes any sense, however, is subject to debate.

            posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 9:59 PM


            • #7
              Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

              Monday, July 28, 2008

              <!-- Begin .post --> Korea: Cat Death Attributed To Bird Flu

              # 2184

              Not unexpectedly, the South Korean government has confirmed that a cat suspected of dying from the bird flu virus last April, was infected with the H5N1 virus. I first reported on this story here.

              Cats, of course, have been known to contract the virus. In tests conducted by Dr. C.A. Nidom among feral cats in Indonesia, 20% (100 out of 500) tested showed antibodies to the H5N1 virus.

              How many cats died from the virus is unknown.

              All of this calls attention to the need for more rigorous seroprevalence studies of humans, and other mammals, in areas where the H5N1 virus is endemic.

              Here is the confirmation from the Korean Times.

              07-28-2008 22:01

              Cat Infected With Bird Flu Virus

              A cat found dead in April had been infected with the virulent strain of the bird flu influenza, the government confirmed Monday.

              The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said tests conducted by Chungnam National University showed the cat, found in Gimje located 262 kilometers south of Seoul, died of the H5N1 virus that swept through the country from early April to mid-May.

              Gimje, North Jeolla Province, was one of the first regions hit by this year's avian influenza that resulted in a record 8.46 million birds being culled at the cost of 264.1 billion won ($262 million).

              ``Since the cat died of the bird flu, it probably had eaten a sick bird or came in very close contact with chickens or ducks,'' a quarantine inspector was quoted as saying by Yonhap News. He added that because there has been no reported case of a cat spreading the bird flu, there was no risk to human health.

              Cats and dogs are usually not susceptible to the avian influenza, so quarantine officials only check animals that have regular contact with birds.

              In contrast, pigs are checked thoroughly because they are more likely to contract the disease. Under existing operating procedures, the movement of pigs is banned during an outbreak.

              The NVRQS, which is under the Agriculture Ministry, said earlier in the month that samples from the latest outbreak sent to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention were confirmed to be from the virulent strain of bird flu. However, it said the particular sub-strain has no prior history of actually causing people to get sick.

              South Korea has been hit three times with the bird flu, but humans have not caught the disease.
              posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 11:58 AM


              • #8
                Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

                # 2185

                Today we are seeing what appears to be damage control coming out of South Korea regarding the H5N1 infected cat announced yesterday. I use the term `damage control' because it is a euphemism that almost everyone understands.

                The assertions in the article below are so blatantly misleading, so contrary to the facts, that one must wonder who is at fault here. The Korean spokesperson, or the reporter.

                I've highlighted the most egregious statements in red.

                SKorea cat had bird flu: officials

                SEOUL (AFP) — A cat found dead in a South Korean city was infected with a virulent strain of bird flu, the first mammal in the country known to have had the H5N1 virus, health officials said on Tuesday.

                They said it was the first report of a cat having had the virus since a case in Thailand in 1996, but that there was little risk to humans as there has never been a known transmission of the virus from a cat to other mammals.

                "It is quite rare for a cat to be infected by the avian flu virus," said Cho Hyun-Ho, a deputy director of the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service.

                Cats and dogs are usually not susceptible to the virus, so quarantine officials only normally check animals that have regular contact with birds.

                First known cat infection in 12 years. Very rare occurrence. Dogs and cats are not generally susceptible . . .

                Very comforting.

                Nothing to see here folks. Move along. You can go back to sleep. Sorry to have bothered you.

                Since I don't know the motivation behind these misstatements (although I can certainly guess), I'll skip over my righteous indignation (for now) and simply provide some `conflicting' data.

                Notice that none of these examples go back to 1996. Where they got that date, I can't even begin to imagine.

                (The bolding and highlighting of passages in the following articles is mine)

                First there's this, from the WHO (World Health Organization).

                H5N1 avian influenza in domestic cats

                28 February 2006

                Authorities in Germany have today announced detection of H5N1 avian influenza in a domestic cat. The cat was found dead over the weekend on the northern island of Ruegen. Since mid-February, more than 100 wild birds have died on the island, and tests have confirmed H5N1 infection in several.


                Experimental studies, published in September 2004, demonstrated that the H5N1 virus can infect domestic cats, and that cats can transmit the virus to other cats. In these experiments, the cats developed disease following direct inoculation of virus isolated from a fatal human case, and following the feeding of infected raw chicken.


                Several published studies have demonstrated H5N1 infection in large cats kept in captivity. In December 2003, two tigers and two leopards, fed on fresh chicken carcasses, died unexpectedly at a zoo in Thailand. Subsequent investigation identified H5N1 in tissue samples.

                In February 2004, the virus was detected in a clouded leopard that died at a zoo near Bangkok. A white tiger died from infection with the virus at the same zoo in March 2004.

                In October 2004, captive tigers fed on fresh chicken carcasses began dying in large numbers at a zoo in Thailand. Altogether 147 tigers out of 441 died of infection or were euthanized. Subsequent investigation determined that at least some tiger-to-tiger transmission of the virus occurred.

                And of course, we have this article from the New Straits Times from the summer of 2006. Notice that the statement comes from a WHO medical officer.

                Indonesian cat found infected with bird flu virus

                19 Jun 2006
                Amy Chew in Jakarta
                JAKARTA, INDONESIA, MON:

                A CAT has been found infected with the deadly H5N1 virus in Indonesia, in the first such case in the country.

                Steven Bjorge, Medical Officer for Communicable Disease of the World Health Organisation said the cat was infected after having eaten contaminated birds.

                “We have evidence from one cat in Indonesia that has already been infected by this virus,” he told Jakarta’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

                Yesterday’s disclosure came just days after Indonesia confirmed its 38th death from avian influenza caused by the H5N1 virus, placing the country in second place behind Vietnam’s 42 deaths.

                (link no longer active)

                And then there's this from the Veterinary Sciences Tomorrow journal.

                24 March 2006
                Infection of cats with H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus

                Compiled by Etienne Thiry (Liege/B), with the assistance of Diane Addie (Glasgow/UK), Herman Egberink (Utrecht/NL), Katrin Hartmann (Munich/D), Hans Lutz (Zurich/CH) and Herv&#233; Poulet (Lyon/F).

                The H5N1 subtype of Avian Influenza Virus type A, a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family, occurs primarily in birds. Transmission to mammals happens sporadically, and the infection then may cause disease with a high morbidity and a high number of deaths among ill animals. Humans, primates, rodents, lagomorphs, mustelids and felids, including the domestic cat may be infected and may succumb to the disease. A listing of susceptible species is given HERE .

                Infection of cats

                Felids can be naturally and experimentally infected with H5N1 virus.

                In February 2004, infection of household cats was reported from Thailand (WHO, 2004); also from that country, two outbreaks of fatal disease in tigers and leopards have been published (Keawcharoen et al., 2004; Thanawongnuwech et al., 2005).

                In February/March 2006, three cats were found dead on the island of R&#252;gen, Germany and infection with H5N1 virus was established by laboratory tests.

                Also in March 2006, three cats were found infected but alive in an animal shelter in Graz, Austria. - First experimental evidence for the pathogenicity of H5N1 avian influenza virus for the domestic cat was obtained by Kuiken et al. (2004).

                And then there is this from the FAO (UN's Food & Agriculture Agency).
                Avian influenza in cats should be closely monitored
                So far no sustained virus transmission in cats or from cats to humans

                8 February 2007, Rome - Cats can become infected with the highly lethal H5N1 avian influenza virus, but at present there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there has been sustained transmission of the virus in cats or from cats to humans, FAO said in a statement today.

                As a precautionary measure, FAO recommended that in areas where the H5N1 virus has been found in poultry or wild birds, cats should be separated from infected birds until the danger has passed. On commercial poultry premises cats should even be kept indoors.

                The agency advised against killing cats as a virus control option because there is nothing to suggest that cats are transmitting the virus in a sustained way. Removing cats could lead to a surge in rodents such as rats, which are an agricultural pest and often transmit diseases to humans.

                Unconfirmed reports that H5N1 infection has been detected in a high prevalence in cats in Indonesia has caused some alarm. The scavenging cats were sampled in the vicinity of poultry markets in Java and Sumatra where outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza had recently occurred.

                This is not the first time that cats have been infected as previous incidents in Thailand, Iraq, the Russian Federation, the European Union and Turkey show. Cats can become infected by feeding on sick domestic or wild birds; they can develop severe to fatal disease and excrete the virus from the respiratory and digestive tracts.

                There are more examples I could cite - including the work of Dr. C.A. Nidom in Indonesia. Or the reports of H5N1 infection in dogs in the CDC's Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

                But I think I've made my point.

                Why any of this information should be (pick one) ignored, glossed over, or suppressed is beyond me.

                Cats and dogs, along with other mammals, are susceptible to the H5N1 virus. We honestly don't know how often infection occurs. But it probably happens more often than we are aware of.

                Thus far, we've seen no indication of cat-to-human infection. More research is needed so that we can fully understand the role that mammals may play in the spread of the H5N1 virus.

                Is this information so scary that it can't be readily admitted? Is the public so immature, so easily frightened, that it can't handle the truth?

                Obviously some people think so.

                FLA_MEDIC @ 7:49 AM


                • #9
                  Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

                  Sunday, August 17, 2008

                  South Korea Declares Itself Bird Flu Free

                  # 2236


                  It has been 3 months since the last reported outbreak of the H5N1 virus in South Korea, and by OIE rules, South Korea can now declare themselves `free of the virus'.

                  At least until the next time.

                  Admittedly this is a slow news morning when this has all the headlines. We should enjoy this lull, however.

                  It is unlikely to last.

                  S Korea declares itself bird flu-free zone

         2008-08-17 17:35:35

                  SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The South Korean government said Sunday that the country is a bird flu "clean zone" after three months without a confirmed case of the bird flu virus.

                  "Under OIE (the World Organization for Animal Health) rules, we can declare South Korea 'clean' three months after the last quarantine measures have been implemented," said Kim Chang-seob, the chief veterinary officer of South Korea's Agriculture Ministry.

                  South Korea technically became a bird flu free country as of Friday, Kim added.

                  The declaration is in accordance with guidelines set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and follows detailed tests conducted on 1,829 poultry farms throughout the country in May and June, the ministry said.

                  Following the declaration, South Korea will seek talks with Japan and other countries to resume poultry exports, Kim said.

                  This year's outbreak of bird flu was the most serious in the country's history. Since the first outbreak was reported on April 1, 8.46 million birds had been culled.
                  Posted by FLA_MEDIC at <a class="timestamp-link" href="" rel="bookmark" title="permanent link"><abbr class="published" title="2008-08-17T07:53:00-04:00">7:53 AM</abbr>


                  • #10
                    Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

                    October 4, 2008

                    South Korea Testing Ducks At Farm For Suspected Bird Flu

                    # 2357

                    Today we have a brief report suggesting that bird flu may have `returned' to South Korea, in the form of infected ducks.

                    Tests are pending.

                    First the news story, then some discussion.

                    S.Korea reports new case of suspected bird flu

                    Sat Oct 4, 2008 7:46am BST

                    SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Saturday reported a suspected bird flu outbreak at a duck farm in Yesan city, south of Seoul, the first since the latest confirmed case about five months ago, local media reported.

                    The suspected case is currently under tests, and the final results were due by the end of the day, Yonhap News said, citing Seoul's agriculture ministry.

                    Initial tests at the suspected farm, home to 5,000 ducks, had given positive readings for the avian virus, it said.

                    The government plans to slaughter all birds in the farm as a pre-emptive measure.

                    In May, South Korea culled all domestic fowl in the Seoul area in a bid to contain bird flu after confirming 31 cases of the deadly H5N1 strain in poultry in the preceding six weeks.

                    Starting on April 1st of this year, and for roughly the next seven weeks, South Korea waged its biggest battle to date against the bird flu virus, culling 8 million birds at dozens of infected farms around the nation.

                    The outbreak was declared over by the end of June, and South Korea announced they were Bird Flu Free on August 17th.

                    S Korea declares itself bird flu-free zone

           2008-08-17 17:35:35

                    SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The South Korean government said Sunday that the country is a bird flu "clean zone" after three months without a confirmed case of the bird flu virus.

                    "Under OIE (the World Organization for Animal Health) rules, we can declare South Korea 'clean' three months after the last quarantine measures have been implemented," said Kim Chang-seob, the chief veterinary officer of South Korea's Agriculture Ministry.

                    South Korea technically became a bird flu free country as of Friday, Kim added.

                    Being `bird flu free' is quite often a temporary status.

                    This summer the South Korean government announced they would begin monitoring for the bird flu virus year-round, instead of just between November and March as they have in previous years.

                    Should this suspected outbreak in Yesan City turn out to be due to the bird flu virus, once again, this would be an `off-season' incident, raising concerns that somehow the virus has changed its modus operandi.

                    Exactly how and where the virus spends its summers hasn't been answered.
                    Does it lie quietly in some asymptomatic flock somewhere, waiting for cooler weather before spreading? Or does it hide in some mammalian reservoir that we aren't monitoring? Or perhaps it flies in each fall on the wings of migratory birds.
                    All we really know is that during the summer months, the virus generally declines in activity (sometimes disappears completely), and that it re-emerges during the fall and winter months.

                    Authorities are promising swift test results and so we should know today or tomorrow if this incident is due to the bird flu virus.


                    • #11
                      Re: AFD - South Korea Outbreaks

                      October 6, 2009

                      South Korean Ducks: Low Path H5N2

                      # 2363

                      On Saturday we received word of an outbreak of suspected bird flu at a duck farm in South Korea. The type of bird flu had not been determined at the time of the initial report, but now has been reported to the OIE as being low pathogenic H5N2.

                      A Hat tip to Dutchy on Flutrackers for posting this report.

                      The following information was received on 06/10/2008 from Dr Chang-Seob Kim, CVO & Director , Animal Health Team, Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry (MIFAFF), Gwacheon-city, Korea (Rep. of)

                      The OIE filing included the following epidemiological information:
                      As part of the on-going control measures for avian influenza in the Republic of Korea, surveillance has been conducted since September in all parent stock duck farms.

                      On 3 October, faecal samples from a parent stock duck farm proved positive to avian influenza antigen. But antibody test results of samples from blood and eggs were negative. The virus was identified as low pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N2 by haemagglutination test (HA), neuraminidase gene typing and gene sequencing of cleavage site of the HA gene on 4 October 2008.

                      As a preventive measure, ducks in the farm were stamped out and the farm was disinfected.

                      Low path H5N2 isn't viewed to be as serious as the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus. It is, however, a reportable disease and can mutate into a highly pathogenic form.

                      Over the years there have been several H5N2 outbreaks in the United States, and around the world, that resulted in large economic losses to poultry raisers.

                      The danger to humans from this virus, for now at least, is considered minimal.

                      While no active human infection with the H5N2 virus has ever been documented, in 2006 77 poultry workers in Japan tested positive for antibodies to the virus.

                      None, reportedly, were aware of any clinical symptoms.