Published Date: 2007-06-22 13:00:02
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (106): Czech Republic, turkeys, DEFRA
Archive Number: 20070622.2018
AVIAN INFLUENZA (106): CZECH REPUBLIC, TURKEYS, DEFRA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 21 June 2007
Source: DEFRA (UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural
Affairs) Preliminary outbreak assessment, Ref: VITT 1200/HPAI-Czech
The Czech Republic has reported a case of highly pathogenic avian
influenza [HPAI], virus type H5N1 in a commercial turkey flock in the
Pardubice Region. Disease control zones have been established and
culling of the flock is underway. Laboratory investigations are also
underway to confirm the strain of the virus. [The laboratory provided
final confirmation of H5N1 later on Thu 21 Jun 2007. - Mod. AS]
The Czech authorities informed that there is one farm with 17 000
chickens in the 3-km zone and 9 commercial holdings totaling around
350 000 poultry, mainly broilers and turkeys in the 10-km zone
(European Commission, 2007).
The Czech Republic reported cases of H5N1 in wild birds (swans) in
early 2006. There were no reports of H5N1 in commercial or
The TRACES (TRAde Control and Expert System) electronic database
indicates that there have been no imports of live poultry to the UK
for the past 3 months. There has been one import of parrot-like birds
by a private individual in April  and heron-like birds to a zoo
in May . There has been one import of hatching eggs to a
research centre in April .
The TRACES electronic database does record the movement of live
poultry and poultry hatching eggs because they require veterinary
certification under EU rules. In general, data in TRACES is dependant
on accurate entry at the point of origin. However, TRACES does not
record poultry meat and other poultry products intended for human
consumption because these do not require official veterinary
certification under EU rules.
The 2 reported outbreaks of H5N1 in commercial poultry in the EU
(that is, Hungary and the UK) in early 2007 appeared to be linked
(see full epidemiological report at
Worldwide, the H5N1 virus continued to be reported sporadically
across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa during 2007. The
most recent cases occurred in Asia, the Middle East, the Indian
subcontinent, West Africa, and Europe. The map [included in the URL
provided above. - Mod.AS] indicates the location of outbreaks
of HPAI since the beginning of January 2007 until the end of May
2007. These events were covered in our qualitative risk assessment
We considered that recent epidemiological developments, both
worldwide and in Europe do not significantly alter our previous
overall conclusion that there is an increased but still low
likelihood that the virus may be introduced from the affected areas
to the UK.
Based on the disease report and situation assessment, the likelihood
of the introduction of the virus from the Czech Republic via legal
importation of live poultry is considered negligible because no such
imports have taken place. It is unlikely that the relatively recent
imports of zoo birds, parrot-like birds, or hatching poultry eggs may
have resulted in the introduction of the virus to the UK.
At this stage, the likelihood of the introduction of the virus via
poultry meat cannot be determined because the TRACES electronic
database does not record such movement. This is being investigated.
On the basis of this outbreak and previous experiences, further
developments may be likely.
Should H5N1 virus, or any other type of H5 or H7 HPAI, be detected in
wild birds in the affected area, it is unlikely that it may be
introduced to the UK by direct movements at this time of the year.
However, this risk will be reviewed should the virus be detected in
wild birds in other areas within the major migratory flyway that may
involve direct movements to the UK.
European Commission, (2007): Confirmation of avian influenza H5 in
the Czech Republic. Urgent fax 700. D1 BVG (07) D/411444. 21 June
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall
[The DEFRA URL includes a map of the affected location:
The source of this outbreak remains to be discovered. This is a
complex undertaking, rather rarely achievable. - Mod.AS]