H5N1 strain from bbc news

China Bans Import of U.S. Poultry After Detecting Avian Influenza

Last week China announced that it was banning the import of U.S. poultry products after the discovery of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza. The H5N8 strain was detected in three West Coast that has the potential to cause illness in humans.

This has a huge impact on the market as China is a key export market for U.S. poultry products. Between January and November last year, China spent more than $272 million on chicken, turkey and duck products. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued the ban effective from January 9. The USDA have stated that the highly pathogenic strain H5N8 was discovered in a small flock of guinea hens and chickens in Oregon, and was also independently found in wild birds in California and Washington.

Other countries that have also banned or restricted imports include the 28 members of the European Union, Thailand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. APHIS states that the bans are put in place to protect each country’s poultry populations. All bans and restrictions are on any poultry directly from the affected areas.

The USDA has said it has not found any other cases of avian flu in U.S. poultry sites. Although this strain can cause illness in humans, there are currently no reports that link this recently found strain to illness.

Marcelo Paniago, Director Global Veterinary Services Poultry from Ceva Santé Animale specialises in poultry and avian influenza. Speaking at the World Veterinary Vaccines Conference (as part of the 15th World Vaccine Congress taking place on April 7 – 9, Washington DC), Marcelo will be speaking on the situation of the disease and the current approaches used to reduce the spread of avian influenza strains through vaccine development. Meet Marcelo and find out more at World Veterinary Vaccines Conference for more information.

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