Saturday, August 17, 2013


Archive Number: 20130816.1884707
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 15 Aug 2013
Source: OIE, WAHID (World Animal Health Information Database), weekly disease information 2013; 26(33) [summ., edited]

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, Italy
Information received on (and dated) 15 Aug 2013 from Prof Dr Romano Marabelli, chief veterinary officer, Department for Veterinary Public Health, Food Safety and Collegial Bodies for Health Protection, Ministry of Health, Rome, Italy

Report type: immediate notification
Date of start of the event: 10 Aug 2013
Date of pre-confirmation of the event: 14 Aug 2013
Reason for notification: reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence: February 2006
Manifestation of disease: clinical disease
Causal agent: Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus
Serotype: H7
Nature of diagnosis: clinical, laboratory (basic)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country

New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 (HPAI_ER_2013_1) Ostellato, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna
Date of start of the outbreak: 10 Aug 2013
Outbreak status: continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit: farm
Affected animals
Species / Susceptible / Cases / Deaths / Destroyed / Slaughtered
Birds / 128 000 / 105 000 / 4000 / 0 / 0
Affected population: commercial layer hens with clinical signs - PCR positive for H7

Outbreak statistics
Species / Apparent morbidity rate / Apparent mortality rate / Apparent case fatality rate / Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Birds / 82 per cent / 3.1 per cent / 3.8 per cent [see comment] / 3.1 per cent
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction, and /or slaughter

Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection: unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments: timely notification from the farmer of suspect clinical signs allowed the detection of the disease affecting a commercial farm of layer hens. A protection zone of 3 km [1.8 mi] and a surveillance zone of 10 km [6.2 mi] have been established around the farm, which is under restriction. Tracing is underway and depopulation has commenced. Further diagnostic examination, also to determine the N type, and the epidemiological investigation, are ongoing.

Control measures
Measures applied: quarantine, movement control inside the country, vaccination prohibited, no treatment of affected animals.
Measures to be applied: stamping out, screening, disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s)

Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type: Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute (IZSVe), Padua (national laboratory)
Species / Test / Test date / Result
Birds / polymerase chain reaction (PCR) / 14 Aug 2013 / Positive

communicated by:

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Italy can be accessed at*2O. The location of the outbreak can be seen on the map included in the OIE report at the source URL above.

The case fatality rate of 3.8 per cent, which seems rather low for a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strain, may be explained by the fortunate early detection of the outbreak. Mortality in such outbreaks is generally known to increase on a daily basis. It may be assumed that, by now, stamping out has already been applied.

The determination of the N type is anticipated with interest.

A major HPAI outbreak by an H7 virus strain (H7N7) was recorded in the Netherlands in 2003, affecting domestic poultry and causing human infections, including one fatal case. It led to the culling of 31 million birds in 255 infected farms and 1094 surrounding poultry farms. A limited HPAI H7N7 outbreak was reported in the UK in 2008. - Mod.AS]

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