News update:Mar 9, 2016

Japanese bird flu strain same gene type as in South Korea

The bird flu strain found at a poultry farm in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea.

Genome sequencing conducted by Japan's National Institute of Animal Health proved that the virus strain detected April 13 on the farm in the town of Taragi, Kumamoto Prefecture, was at least 99% identical to the virus that has led to widespread infections in South Korea this year.

The ministry said that the bird flu found in Kumamoto, which led to the culling of over 100,000 birds has been confirmed as the same H5N8 subtype detected in South Korea.  Some 12 million chickens have been destroyed in South Korea since January, due to the bird flu outbreak.

The farm ministry believes the virus came from South Korea and it will hold a meeting to discuss ways to clarify the route by which it reached Japan.

Source: The Japan Times

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