On Friday, Italy's IZSV (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie) announced - after 3 months without an incident - that country's first HPAI H5N8 outbreak of 2018.
Over the weekend a second H5N8 outbreak was posted to their website, this time in neighboring Brescia province (Lombardy region).First details from the report, then I'll return with more.
2018 – H5N8
Outbreaks | PDF (last update: 09/03/2018)
Maps | PDF (last update: 09/03/20187)
09/03/2018 – On 9 March, the National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease confirmed as positive for Avian Influenza A virus subtype H5N8 a laying hen farm in Brescia province (Lombardy region). At the time of confirmation, the farm housed about 30,700 birds, reared in cages.
The farm belongs to the same production company of the laying hen farm confirmed as positive for HPAI on 2 March. The positivity was detected after virological controls on the production company farms were carried out on 8 March. No evident clinical symptoms were observed in the farm. Culling procedures are ongoing. Further information will be provided as soon as available.
Unlike Friday's report from nearby Bergamo province - which identified the virus as HPAI H5N8 and cited `marked mortality increase and a drop in egg production'- today's report indicates no clinical symptoms were observed at this second farm, and the virus is simply called H5N8.
While this might suggest a different H5N8 strain - it may simply mean they caught the second outbreak early due to aggressive testing of nearby or epidemiologically linked farms.Hopefully we'll get some additional details in the days to come.