KYODO, TOKYO — Following the confirmation of fresh illnesses in the prefectures of Chiba and Fukuoka, bird flu cases in Japan reached a record high, the farm ministry reported on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries said that there had been 54 confirmed cases of avian flu in Japan this season, spread across 23 prefectures.
Genetic confirmation of an avian flu case at a poultry farm in Chiba Prefecture, eastern Japan, close to Tokyo, according to the prefectural government, resulted in the culling of some 10,000 hens there.
A farm in Fukuoka Prefecture in southwest Japan that grows emus also reported having bird flu, and roughly 430 of the birds were killed.
Infected chicken samples from the first confirmed case of avian flu this season were found to contain the incredibly dangerous H5N1 strain.
The previous record was set two seasons prior, from November 2020 to March 2021, when 52 instances were verified in 18 prefectures, leading to the killing of almost 9.9 million chickens.
It is thought that migratory birds brought the bird flu to Japan as it has spread throughout the world.