TOKYO – Japan raised the bird flu alert to the maximum level on Thursday after detecting a highly pathogenic strain of this virus in a dead goshawk found in a park in southern Tokyo, local authorities told EFE.
The goshawk was found in a park in the Japanese capital’s Ota Ward earlier this month and after conducting the relevant tests, it was found to be infected with the H5N6 strain of the virus, a particularly harmful variant, on Wednesday.
It happens to be the only confirmed case in the capital so far, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo explained to EFE, adding, however, that the authorities will carefully monitor the area within a radius of 10 kilometers of the spot where the dead bird was found.
The news comes a week after Japanese authorities culled some 91,000 chickens on a poultry farm in the southwestern part of the country, which were also infected by the same strain of the bird flu, the first case of its type this winter.
The new outbreak was detected on a farm in Kagawa prefecture after examining more than 50 dead chickens, and the movement of eggs and animals within a radius of 10 kilometers was suspended.
The bird flu virus resurfaced in Japan in 2014 and was at its peak two years later, when a new outbreak led to the culling of about 1.7 million animals.