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More H5N1 Spread in Poland

Recombinomics Commentary
December 22, 2007

Preparations were under way to cull birds on four poultry farms in the village of Sadlowo Parcele, where 186,000 egg-laying hens are found, the agency reported.

The latest bird flu centre is within the contamination zone of a Dec. 8 outbreak in the village of Karniszyn, from where the virus is believed to have been transmitted.

This is the eighth case of the H5N1 bird flu virus in Poland since the start of December.

As noted above, the is the eighth case of H5N1 in Poland (see satellite map).  Although this latest outbreak is near earlier sites, the spread may not be due to poor biosecurity.  H5N1 activity has been in high in Europe this fall.  Germany has also reported multiple outbreaks this fall at regions adjacent to Poland.  These outbreaks are genetically related to the Uva Lake strain of clade 2.2 which was reported in Germany, the Czech Republic, and France over the summer.  More recently it was in wild and domestic birds in Krasnodar as well as England.

It is also likely that the strain was involved in human clusters in Pakistan.  Human cases have not been previously reported in Pakistan, and that outbreak may herald human cases in the Middle East and Europe.  A suspect case in a child in Kuwait has been reported, but the widespread outbreaks at this time of the year may signal more activity in the upcoming months, when H5N1 is more frequently reported in these regions.

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