Update on Avian Influenza in Turkey and Romania

Samples collected from sick turkeys in Kiziksa, Balikesi in Turkey and sent to the OIE Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, Weybridge, UK have been confirmed today to contain  avian influenza virus H5N1. The virus isolated seems to be very close to one of the viruses isolated in Siberia. 

In Romania, laboratory tests conducted yesterday at the Institute for Diagnostics and Animal Health (Bucharest) have  now identified the virus isolated from sick poultry in the locality of Ceamurlia-de-Jos to be of subtype H5.  Further tests being necessary, confirmatory diagnoses are being carried out in Weybridge, and results are expected soon. The probability of finding the same virus is high.

The OIE again strongly recalls the importance for both affected and at-risk countries of implementing all the necessary measures to ensure the early detection of sick poultry and a rapid response to the immediate control of the animal disease. The rapid response consists of eliminating the sick and in-contact animals in case of suspicion based on clinical signs seen by veterinarians on the farm. Of particular importance is the involvement of farmers in reporting the first occurrence of unexplained mortalities in their flocks and the creation of rapid and equitable compensation schemes. Supporting national veterinary services so that they can implement a rapid response in case of suspicion and outbreak is also a crucial element in the control of avian influenza in animals worldwide.

The OIE also recalls that the transmission of the AI virus to humans by food consumption has not been reported. The virus in meat is killed by cooking at 70° Celsius for several seconds.