Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to spread in the south of Hungary

The spreading of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues in the south of Hungary. Bács-Kiskun County saw two major outbreaks on March 25th. Neighbouring Csongrád County had two major cases just this week, adding up to a total 40 cases since March 25th.  

Ducks on a duck farm
Beeld: ©John C Bullas

The H5N8 subtype of the HPAI continues to impact Hungarian waterfowl farms amid the economic hardships caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Since the first cases of H5N8 in January, the Chief Veterinary Officer ordered waterfowl farms to keep livestock in closed facilities, isolating the livestock and feed from contact with wild birds. In spite of the measures, the cases proliferate. The HPAI was reported from already 40 farms in the two southern counties since March 25th, mostly located in one of the most densely populated areas in Hungary.

The March 25th cases in the southern county of Bács-Kiskun triggered stricter preventive measures that showed further infected farms in Csongrád lately. The livestock at the latest two cases near Csengele and Üllés did not show any symptoms yet but produced positive test results on March 31st. The authorities implemented protection measures with immediate effect and culled 142.000 and 54.000 ducks at the two farms, respectively. The possible contact with wild birds still poses high risk.

Source: National Food Chain Safety Office, World Organisation for Animal Health

Photo credit: "longdown dairy farm DSCN0008" by Dr. John C. Bullas via Flickr.