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More Suspect H5N1 Whooper Swans in Akita Japan
Recombinomics Commentary 15:10
May 23, 2008

debilitated whooper swan is a total of seven birds were found on Tuesday. A simple test bird flu virus were negative. The Ministry of the Environment received a request to send a sample of Tottori Univ.

Prefecture, said the three were found in the old town's three biggest towns Hatiryuu, Old Town, Yamamoto 4 feathers. Both rice paddy farmers in the town hall to find emaciated swans contact.

The above translation describes additional dead or dying whooper swans in the Akita prefecture.  Although initial rapid tests are negative, both of the recent confirmed positives in Aomori initially tested negative with the rapid test, which lacks sensitivity.

If these birds test positive they will extend the geographic reach of Fujian H5N1 in northern Japan (see satellite map) and increase the likelihood that the long range migratory birds represent a global expansion of the Fujian strain (clade 2.3.2 / 2.3.4) of H5N1.

Last month H5N1 was confirmed at three distinct locations in northern Japan, and the most recent confirmed positives have extended that reach.

Japan has acknowledged the shortcomings of the rapid test and has sent samples for more sensitive testing.  The H5N1 in whooper swans in Japan are closely related to the H5N1 in Korea, which has led to the culling of over 8 million birds.

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