Authorities declare infectious hematopoietic necrosis outbreak at Danish trout farm, first time virus diagnosed in country

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Source of the infection is not yet known.

A trout farm hatchery in South Jutland, has been found to have been affected by a viral disease, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) said in a press release.

The discovery of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHN), declared an “outbreak” by the DVFA, is the first time that the disease has ever been diagnosed in the country.

The virus was picked up at an infected hatchery. The site produces approximately 95 tonnes of trout annually, all fish, products and equipment have been quarantined.

The Chinese publication Sinhuanet reported that the site is located in the town of Stouby, 253 km west of Copenhagen.

“This means that Denmark no longer has IHN-free status. IHN is lethal to the fish, but cannot be transmitted to humans,” said Deputy Head of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration Tim Petersen.

In order to limit the spread of infection, DVFA is also tracking contacts with the fish farm including the shipments of fish sent to and from the fish farm. Any other fish farms in Denmark that have had infectious contact with the fish farm will be placed under public supervision until they are examined for IHN and found free.

The source of the infection is not yet known, and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is working to clarify how the infection occurred. “The outbreak of IHN can have serious consequences for the fish farming industry in Denmark,” wrote the DVFA.

“This may give rise to export markets and trading countries restricting trade in live fish and fish products from Denmark for a period of time,” said Tim Petersen.

Denmark can only be granted IHN-free country status again when no infection with IHN has been detected for two years.

The first IHN outbreak occurred in sockeye salmon at fish hatcheries in Oregon and Washington in 1953.