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Not If But When: HPAI Heading into US Midwest

12 March 2015
Diamond V

US - Overlapping migratory waterfowl flyways are spreading highly pathogenic avian flu eastwards in the United States, warns Diamond V.

High vigilance and biosecurity are slowing the advance of high pathogen avian influenza (HPAI) from northwestern North America. However, overlapping migratory waterfowl flyways are spreading the disease east.

Geese, ducks, and other waterfowl that fly over or land in areas with high concentrations of backyard poultry represent high-risk for the spread of HPAI. Migratory flyways overlap, so Pacific Flyway birds can pass HPAI to those traveling the Mississippi Flyway and so across the continent.

Diamond V poultry veterinarian, Dr Eric Gingerich, explained: “Turkeys can provide early warning of the spread of HPAI. It takes about 100 times more virus to infect chickens than turkeys.”

On 25 January, one house of turkeys on nine-house farm in California’s Central Valley broke with HPAI H5N8, followed on 12 February by another outbreak in a commercial chicken and duck farm further south in the Valley. These incidents followed initial outbreaks in northwestern Canada and demonstrated the current limits of high vigilance and biosecurity to protect commercial poultry operations from the devastating disease.

The Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota on 17 to 19 March includes the ‘Regional Disease Update: Midwest’ during the Pullet/Layer Health Workshop on Wednesday 18 March from 8:30 to 10:30am. For more information, visit

A more detailed article by Dr Gingerich appeared in the Diamond V PoultryAdvisor February issue. This issue also included a research update on the effect of Original XPC™ on Clostridium perfringens-induced necrotic enteritis in broilers.

To subscribe to PoultryAdvisor or for more on Diamond V poultry research, visit

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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