US Avian Flu Tolls Exceeds 11 Million

US - Official figures put the toll of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza at 87 outbreaks in poultry, affecting more than 11 million birds.
calendar icon 29 April 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The latest report from the USDA APHIS lists the following new outbreaks of avian flu in poultry:

  • Minnesota, Stearns country - 26,900 commercial turkeys
  • Iowa, Sioux county - 1.7 million commercial chickens
  • Wisconsin, Barron country - 83,300 commercial turkeys
  • Minnesota, Redwood county - commercial turkeys (number pending)
  • Iowa, Sac county - 33,900 commercial turkeys
  • North Dakota, LaMoure county - 71,500 commercial mixed poultry (turkeys and chickens)
  • Wisconsin - Jefferson county - 1.03 million commercial chickens
  • Minnesota, Kandiyohi county - 42,900 commercial turkeys
  • Minnesota, Kandiyohi county - 67,000 commercial turkeys
  • Minnesota, Kandiyohi county - 68,000 commercial turkeys

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

The North Dakota farm affected is in the area of the Central flyway for migrating birds; the other outbreaks are in the area of the Mississippi flyway.

According to Grand Forks Herald, the outbreaks have already so far killed about one-fifth of the turkey population in Minnesota, which is America’s leading turkey-producing state.

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 87.
  • 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 (67); six 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 11.0 million. This figure includes more than 7.0 million commercial chickens, more than 3.9 million commercial turkeys and 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.

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