VHS disease has been detected in fish in Uusikaupunki

30.10.2008

<div>VHS disease has been detected in fish on the west coast, in Pyhämaa in the northern part of Uusikaupunki. A restriction zone was established in the area due to VHS disease in 2003. As VHS disease has not been found in the area since 2003, the authorities were intending to apply for VHS free status for the area, based on intensified sampling. The restrictions will now remain in place. VHS disease is not contagious to humans and there is no reason not to use symptom free fish for food purposes.</div>

In Finland VHS (Viral hemorrhagic septicaemia) was discovered for the first time in the spring of 2000 in a food fish farm on Åland and in two farms in Pyhtää. On Åland the disease is still encountered annually. The VHS restrictions in Pyhtää were lifted in the spring of 2008. On the west coast the disease was found in 2003, resulting in a VHS restriction zone being put into place in the Uusikaupunki-Pyhäranta-Rauma area. The intention was to apply for the restriction zone to be lifted at the end of this year. Due to the virus being detected in the last sampling the restrictions will now remain in place. The authorities are clarifying the origin of the infection.

In order to prevent the spread of the disease it is prohibited to transport live fish, roe and milt, and ungutted dead fish away from the restriction zone. Fish farms in the area have been given instructions and regulations on, amongst other things, the disinfection of transport equipment and tools and the destruction of animal waste. The provincial veterinary officer has to be notified without delay of a higher fish death rate than normal in the area. Fish and roe that are brought into a VHS restriction zone have to have a health certificate.

Rainbow trout is the species that is the most susceptible to VHS. The death rate of rainbow trout from the disease varies according to the conditions from low up to 40 per cent. VHS disease is not contagious to humans and there is no reason not to use symptom free fish for food purposes.

For more information please contact:
Senior Officer Hanna Kuukka-Anttila, Evira, tel. 020 77 24331 or 040 351 3318, hanna.kuukka-anttila at-merkki.gifevira.fi

Provincial Veterinary Officer Tapio Palmu, State Provincial Office of Western Finland, tel. 071 874 2125 or 040 502 5510,
tapio.palmu at-merkki.giflaaninhallitus.fi


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