Petra Chlumecka reported the death of juvenile white-tailed #eagles from highly pathogenic avian #influenza #H5N1 in #Estonia. I discussed it with the responsible vet. 1/7

#vogelgriep #birdflu #Vogelgrippe #InfluenzaAviaire

@VroegeVogels @GlobalFlyway…
I think this case may herald a new phase in the expansion of highly pathogenic avian influenza into wildlife. This infectious viral disease was historically restricted to poultry farms; an old name for the disease is "fowl plague". 2/7
In recent years, highly pathogenic avian influenza has spread to wild waterbirds. However, outbreaks in wildlife were restricted to mainly to autumn and winter, and had stopped altogether or were at very low levels by the time spring arrived. 3/7
This 2020/2021 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak is different, because there *was* a peak of infections in wild waterbirds in north-west Europe in spring. 4/7
Therefore, the outbreak now overlaps with the breeding season, putting the young of wildlife at risk of illness from the virus. This includes the young of waterbirds (e.g. ducks, geese, swans) and birds of prey that feed birds to their young (e.g. falcons, buzzards, eagles). 5/7
Risk of illness from highly pathogenic avian influenza also includes the young of mammals that feed birds to their young (e.g. foxes) and mammals that share their habitat with wild waterbirds (e.g. harbour seals). 6/7
If you are working with these wildlife species, both adult and young animals, please keep highly pathogenic avian influenza in mind. Although the risk of human infection is not high, please also take appropriate measures to protect your own health. 7/7

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More from @thijskuiken

21 Nov 20
1/17 Highly pathogenic avian #influenza in poultry & wild birds remains a problem, with repeated outbreaks in recent years. Looking at the underlying causes for its emergence & spread, the solutions actually seem pretty obvious. A thread with some (unconventional) policy options.
2/17 1) Keep poultry in small numbers & at low density. This lowers risk of emergence of high-pathogenic avian influenza virus in poultry, & risk of spread to wild birds & people.

This means a lower supply of poultry meat & eggs, & therefore requires reduction in demand.
3/17 2) Don’t establish poultry farms in wild waterbird habitat. This reduces risk of virus spread (both the historically common low-pathogenic variants and the now occurring high-pathogenic H5N8) from wild waterfowl to poultry, and vice versa.
Read 17 tweets
31 Oct 20
1/11 Now that highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 has arrived in Europe again, some questions arise. What do 'H5N8' and 'highly pathogenic' mean? And where does the virus come from?

On request, a thread (for non-Dutch readers).

#HPAI #H5N1 #H5N8 #AvianInfluenza #birdflu
2/11 H5N8 refers to two proteins, haemagglutinin (H) & neuraminidase (N), on the surface of the virus. In birds there are 16 H subtypes, H1 to H16, and 9 N subtypes, N1 to N9. Avian influenza viruses sometimes exchange H & N with each other; for example, H5N1 can change to H5N8.
3/11 Pathogenic means disease-inducing. Avian influenza viruses are divided into two categories: low-pathogenic (inducing no or little disease in chickens) and highly pathogenic (inducing marked disease or mortality in chickens).
Read 11 tweets
31 Oct 20
1/11 De huidige sterfte van #pluimvee en wilde vogels in #Nederland wordt veroorzaakt door hoog-pathogene vogelgriepvirus van het subtype H5N8. Maar wat betekent ‘H5N8’ en ‘hoog-pathogeen’? En waar komt het virus vandaan?

Op verzoek, een draadje.

#HPAI #H5N1 #H5N8 #vogelgriep
2/11 H5N8 slaat op twee eiwitten, hemagglutinine (H) en neuraminidase (N), die buitenop het virus zitten. Bij vogels zijn er 16 subtypen H, H1 t/m H16, en 9 subtypen N, N1 t/m N9. Vogelgriepvirussen wisselen H en N soms uit met elkaar; zo kan H5N1 b.v. veranderen naar H5N8. Image
3/11 Pathogeen betekent ziekteverwekkend. Vogelgriepvirussen worden verdeeld in laag-pathogeen (geen of weinig ziekte bij kippen) en hoog-pathogeen (ernstige ziekte en sterfte bij kippen). Image
Read 29 tweets
12 Apr 20
1/11 Since you ask seriously, I will try to explain my views in detail. I think that your questions aren't framed appropriately, for several reasons. Regarding the #COVID_19 outbreak, we should be evaluating human behaviour instead of #bats.
2/11 A more appropriate question might be: “What are the broad benefits (including social, cultural, environmental, and financial) of people farming, trapping, trading, and consuming wild animals, and flying long-distance frequently, compared to the costs of these behaviours?”
3/11 Regarding "benefits from bats", other wildlife, or nature in general, I think it is a dangerous route to try to translate them into their economic value, because that is too limited.
Read 11 tweets

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