Avian flu in Taiwan

August 16, 2019

Disease outbreaks are not unique to the pork industry in the Asian continent. Over the last month, Taiwan’s poultry market has been hit by new highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.

After the eight avian flu cases reported between June and July, six new outbreaks of the highly contagious disease that affects birds have been reported in the Taiwanese region.

The cases, linked to the H5N2 virus variant, took place in five farms and a slaughterhouse between July 18 and 29 in Yunlin county, and the cities of Taipei and Changhua. Losses are estimated at 57,000 birds.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), there have been 29 outbreaks of avian flu in Taiwan this year.

“A significant shift in the weather pattern as a result of the constant heavy rains and falling temperatures left behind by Typhoon Lekima may have increased the level of environmental stress on the birds in a region in which this highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was already present impacting their susceptibility to infection,” said Neogen’s expert, Dr. Nick Wagner.

The use of vaccines in the face of an outbreak, implementing movement restrictions, depopulating infected flocks, and decontaminating affected premises are among the many actions taken by public health authorities and poultry producers in response to the situation.

“In these cases, it’s important to develop and implement very strict biosecurity protocols that focus on limiting traffic flow, maintaining employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting equipment and buildings, and controlling biological vectors to reduce or prevent the transmission of disease,” Dr. Wagner said.

Thorough biosecurity plans based on fast responses have helped to limit avian flu spreads in the U.S. in past years.

Procedures that answer the crucial question of “what can poultry producers do?” are always available in our blog.

HPAI in other parts of the world

Cases of two HPAI virus types were reported in Vietnam as well.

One case of HPAI linked to H5N6 was reported in the Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, where 4,700 birds were culled. Public health authorities associate these outbreaks to the previous cases detected back in June and July.

Two other outbreaks linked to the H5N1 virus were detected in the city of Can Tho, where 1,500 chickens were culled after the fact.


Earlier this month, Mexican authorities confirmed four new cases of HPAI.

The outbreaks, linked to the H7N3 virus variant, took place in the states of Queretaro, Guanajuato, and Vera Cruz.

These latest reports set the total figure of avian flu outbreaks at 22, and Mexican authorities estimate this year's poultry losses at 476,000.

Previous outbreaks in the Mexican region date back to March, according to reports by the World Organization for Animal Health.


Category: Animal Safety, Poultry, Public Health, Sanitation & Hygiene