Bird Flu Outbreak in Japan Worsens Amid Record Culls

A bird flu outbreak in Japan worsened on Dec. 10 as nearly 2.5 million chickens have been culled since the beginning of the outbreak last November.

A bird flu outbreak in Japan worsened on Dec. 10 as nearly 2.5 million chickens have been culled since the beginning of the outbreak last November.

Farms in two more prefectures in Japan — Oitawa and Wakayama — slaughtered a record cull of chickens as the H5 subtype of the avian flu, which was likely brought by birds migrating from Eurasia, has spread to eight of the 47 prefectures in Japan.

Officials are concerned about the virus transmitting to humans and causing a pandemic similar to COVID-19.

Last Dec. 9, the Japanese government ordered the disinfection of all poultry farms in the country in an attempt to contain the outbreak of the highly pathogenic bird flu, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported.

The government also ordered farms to check hygiene regime and proper installation of nets.

“The need for vigilance is stronger than in usual years,” Chief Government Spokesman Katsunobu Kato said, as quoted by NHK.

The Japanese government has suspended poultry imports from Germany and six other countries.

The previous record number of chicken culls in Japan was at 1.83 million in the 2010-2011 bird-flu season.


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