Animal Health News

Avian influenza: 25 UE/SEE countries involved according to the recent EFSA report

Animal HealthEpidemiologyPoultryPublic healthVirologyZoonoses

Between 8 December 2020 and 23 February 2021, 1,022 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus detections were reported in 25 EU/EEA countries and the UK. Most of the cases (n=592) were related to poultry, the rest – to wild and captive birds. The majority of the detections were reported in France among farmed ducks. In Russia, seven cases of HPAI virus A (H5N8) infection, with little or no symptoms, have been reported in humans among workers in the poultry sector. Six different genotypes were identified to date in Europe and Russia, suggesting a high propensity of these viruses to undergo multiple reassortment events.  The possibility remains that new strains will emerge with a greater potential to infect humans, but to date there is no evidence of any mutation known for its zoonotic potential.

Due to the continued presence of HPAI A(H5) viruses in wild birds and the environment, there is still a risk of further spread, mainly in areas with high poultry densities.

The risk of infection related to avian influenza A (H5N8) virus remains very low for the general EU / EEA population and low for people exposed to the virus for occupational reasons.

Five human cases due to A(H5N6) HPAI and 10 cases due to A(H9N2) LPAI viruses have been reported from China. The risk for the general population as well as travel‐related imported human cases is assessed as very lowand the risk for people occupationally exposed people as low.

Avian influenza overview December 2020 – February 2021

 

Assessing the risks of zoonotic diseases under the One Health approach: a new operational tool

Animal HealthEpidemiologyPublic healthZoonoses

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the necessity of a longstanding and sustainable One Health collaboration across sectors to tackle shared sanitary challenges.To support countries in building multisectoral mechanisms to jointly assess the risks at the human–animal–environment interface, a new operational tool is available to complement the existing Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries.
The new Joint Risk Assessment Operational Tool (JRA) OT was designed to support countries in applying a consistent and harmonized approach to assessing risks posed by zoonotic disease hazards.The JRA OT offers decision-makers and technical experts a 10-step approach to create a system for conducting joint qualitative risk assessments. Results of the JRA OT are used to support policy communication, risk mitigation, and improved planning and preparedness for zoonotic diseases, contributing to health security at the national, regional, and global levels. The document also provides model templates to support its implementation by staff from national ministries responsible for the management of zoonotic diseases.

For more infromation download the operational tool: https://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Media_Center/docs/pdf/onehealthportal/EN_JointRiskAssessmentOperationalTool_webversion.pdf

Mink may have transmitted Covid-19 Coronavirus to humans in the Netherlands

Animal HealthEpidemiologyPublic healthVirology

Several mink have tested positive with COVID-19 at four mink farms in the Netherlands. The mink showed various symptoms including respiratory problems. Some employees had symptoms of the coronavirus at both companies. Research shows that mink on the farm have transmitted the virus to each other. It is also plausible that two employees have been infected by mink.
The Animal Health Service (GD), Utrecht University (UU), Erasmus MC (EMC) and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) are conducting research to gain more insight into the virus, the spread of the virus and the spread in the environment. Samples of sick and healthy animals have been collected and air and dust samples have also been taken in the vicinity of the farms. GGD is involved in sampling and research into contamination of employees.

For more information see: https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Research-Institutes/Bioveterinary-Research/show-bvr/COVID-19-detected-on-two-mink-farms.htm

Bees and pesticides: third consultation on guidance review

Animal HealthBeesEnvironmentToxicology

In March 2019, the European Commission (EC) mandated EFSA to revise its 2013 guidance document on the risk assessment of plant protection products and bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees) (EFSA, 2013), which was republished in 2014 following feedback from MSs collected during a workshop organised by the EC.
EFSA has considered both the complexity of the subject and the stakeholder and public interest of the subject in question, and has established an ad-hoc stakeholder consultation group that will be consulted at various stages of development of the work to provide input to the EFSA scientific working group. The Consultation Group together with Member State pesticide network have been asked for feedback on the proposed approach for revising tier 1 risk assessment schemes, with a focus on crop attractiveness and risk assessment methodologies.
EFSA will continue to consult stakeholders and Member State experts throughout the process. A full public consultation and workshop will take place when the guidance document has been drafted.

For ore information see: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/bees-and-pesticides-third-consultation-guidance-review