Japanese officials have ordered the cull of more than 40,000 birds on a Miyazaki prefecture after for the second time in two weeks an H5 avian influenza outbreak has been reported.

Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould
Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould

Preliminary genetic testing reveals that the strain involved at the farm in southwestern Japan is of the H5 variety. An earlier outbreak in Miyazaki two weeks ago, which resulted in the cull of some 4,000 birds, was caused by the H5N8 avian influenza strain; however, it shows it differs enough from previous Japanese outbreaks to be considered a different sub clade (computer translated).

The cull began Monday and government officials in the prefecture have advised farms within a 10 kilometre (62 miles) radius not to move their poultry outside of that geographic area.

The AFP reports, Officials also set up stations to disinfect vehicles travelling on major roads near the affected farm to prevent the virus from spreading. It is uncertain whether there is a link between the first outbreak and the second, a farm ministry official said on Monday, adding that further testing of the strain would be conducted.

“Unlike the first case, the bird flu this time will involve far bigger numbers of chickens and farms. We need to move quickly,” Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono said on Sunday.