Cablegate: Japan Avian Influenza Update: H5n1 Avian Influenza Strain
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHKSO #0031 1210954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300954Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL SAPPORO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0382
INFO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0405
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0005
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0001
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0004
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0004
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 0006
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 0175
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0183
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0184
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0184
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0420
UNCLAS SAPPORO 000031
DEPT FOR AIAG AMBASSADOR LANGE; DEPT FOR EAP/J AND OES/IHA; USDA
PASS TO APHIS; HHS PASS TO CDC; HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER AND HICKEY;
DEPT PASS TO AID/GH/HIDN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU TBIO KSTH ECON PREL SOCI CASC JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE: H5N1 AVIAN INFLUENZA STRAIN
FOUND IN MIGRATORY SWANS IN NORTHERN JAPAN
The H5N1 strain of avain influenza virus has been detected in
three dead and one dying migratory swan near Lake Towada in
Northern Japan's Akita Prefecture on April 21, 2008. The Japan
Science and Technology Agency's National Institute of Animal
Health in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture tested the birds and the
result was made public on the 29th.
Actions Taken by Akita Prefecture
Akita Prefecture will conduct on-site inspections April 30 and
May 1 at fifteen farms within a radius of 30km of where the dead
swans were found. Roughly 42,000 birds will be subject to the
inspections. In addition to the on-site inspections, the
prefecture surveyed 220 poultry farms by phone.
Akita Prefecture authorities have already checked migratory bird
areas in the prefecture, but found no additional affected birds.
Adjacent Aomori Prefecture (Lake Towada straddles the border)
reported April 30 that one weakened swan was caught April 18 and
died April 20. Too much time, however, had passed for an
accurate test for the virus in that bird.
Akita Prefecture has established contact numbers for poultry
farm owners. Health centers in Akita are also taking calls on
health concerns from residents.
Actions Taken by Poultry Farmers
Akita Prefecture is known for its free-range "Hinai-jidori"
(Hinai brand chicken). Most poultry farms within the 30km
radius have put netting over their yards to prevent any direct
contact with wild birds or have temporarily put chickens in
vinyl greenhouses. Firms have been sterilizing surrounding
facilities using hydrated slack lime and limit entrance to
designated personnel only.
Actions Taken by Hokkaido Prefecture
Our contact at the Hokkaido Prefectural Government in the
Department of Health and Welfare, Bureau of Health and Medical
Affairs, Public Health Promotion Division told us the Hokkaido
Prefectural Government was informed by the Ministry of Health,
Labor and Welfare about the case in Akita and they called an
action group meeting April 28 to discuss countermeasures among
departments responsible for farms, wild bird populations, and
public heath, as well as the police. Because Akita's case was
associated with swans, migratory bird areas were investigated
all around Hokkaido. No additional cases were found. All 14
sub-prefectural governmental offices were notified to take
proper action if dead birds are found on the road or in
residential areas and reported by residents.
All prefectures have an avian flu manual and are prepared for
This cable was cleared with Embassy Tokyo.