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USDA Confirms 14 New Avian Flu Outbreaks

05 May 2015

US - The number of outbreaks of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza now stands at 114, with more than 21.6 million poultry affected. Most-affected states, Iowa and Minnesota, have respectively reported four and eight new suspected outbreaks.

In its latest update, dated 4 May, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has listed 14 new outbreaks confirmed on 30 April and 1 May:

  • Minnesota, Stearns county - 20,500 commercial turkeys
  • Minnesota, Stearns county - 14,800 commercial turkeys
  • Iowa, Sioux county - commercial chickens, number pending
  • Iowa, Pocahontas county - commercial turkeys, number pending
  • Minnesota, Otter Tail county - 36,400 commercial turkeys
  • Iowa, Kossuth county - commercial chickens, number pending
  • Iowa, Clay county - commercial chickens, number pending
  • Iowa, Buena Vista county - commercial turkeys, number pending
  • Iowa, Buena Vista county - 5.7 million commercial chickens
  • Iowa, Buena Vista county - 27,000 commercial turkeys
  • Minnesota, Kandiyohi county - 11,200 commercial turkeys
  • Iowa, Buena Vista county - commercial turkeys, number pending
  • Iowa, Buena Vista county - commercial chickens, number pending
  • Wisconsin, Barron county - 96,500 commercial turkeys.

In each of these outbreaks, the cause has been confirmed as the H5N2 subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of mixed Eurasian and American origin.

All these outbreaks are in the area of the Mississippi flyway for migrating birds.

Four more outbreaks suspected in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship reported on 4 May that it is responding to four probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms:

  • Buena Vista county outbreak 7 - turkey farm, number of birds pending.
  • Cherokee county outbreak 2 - turkey farm, number of birds pending.
  • Wright county, outbreak 1 - commercial laying operation with an estimated 2.8 million birds.
  • Buena Vista county outbreak 8 - turkey farm, number of birds pending.

In each outbreak, increased mortality was observed. Initial testing was positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.

State officials have quarantined the premises and once the presence of the disease is confirmed, all birds on the property will be humanely euthanised to prevent the spread of the disease.

If confirmed, these four new cases would bring the state total so far to 25 outbreaks.

Speaking on PBS, Amy Mayer of Harvest Public Media said it has been estimated that approximately 25 per cent of the laying hens in Iowa have been infected.

Eight new outbreaks suspected in Minnesota

On 4 May, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced eight presumptive positive flocks. The following Minnesota counties are affected:

  • Renville county - 1st detection in county; 12,900 turkeys
  • Nicollet county - 1st detection in county; 1,102,900 chickens
  • Kandiyohi county - 27th (89,200 turkeys), 28th (barns are being cleaned and disinfected due to exposure to potentially-infected birds) and 29th (11,200 turkeys) detections
  • Pipestone county - 2nd detection; 72,200 turkeys
  • Swift county - 4th (46,200 turkeys) and 5th (turkeys, flock size information coming soon) detections

These bring the total number of birds affected in Minnesota to 5,336,232 (excluding pending flocks) on 80 farms in 21 counties.

Overview of high-path avian flu outbreaks in US poultry

The following information is based on published USDA APHIS outbreak reports:

  • The latest cases bring the total number of high-path avian flu outbreaks since December 2014 to 114.
  • Outbreaks have occurred in poultry in 13 states.
  • Three of the early outbreaks were caused by the H5N8 sub-type of the virus but in all those since mid-February 2015, the H5N2 variant has been confirmed.
  • The majority of outbreaks have been in commercial turkeys (85); 16 have been in commercial chickens, one in a mixed commercial flock and 12 in backyard flocks.
  • The number of poultry affected by these outbreaks now exceeds 21.64 million. This figure includes more than 17.17 million commercial chickens and 4.38 million commercial turkeys as well as 7,173 backyard poultry.
  • The disease has also affected five captive wild birds.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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