Two More US Avian Flu Outbreaks, Wisconsin Releases Quarantine

US - Two more outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) serotype H5N2 have been confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
calendar icon 20 May 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The latest outbreaks bring the total number of birds affected to 38,250,073, in 170 separate confirmed incidents.

The two new outbreaks were:

  • Minnesota, Meeker county - 138,000 commercial turkeys;
  • South Dakota, Moody county - 1,200,000 commercial chickens.

They were confirmed on 18 May by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Information Service.

The newly confirmed outbreak in Minnesota is the newest of 82 confirmed detections in the state, affecting 4,448,160 birds.

The outbreak in South Dakota is only the ninth detection in that state, affecting 1,626,500 birds in all.

Meanwhile, The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has announced that it is releasing the quarantine zone within 6.2 miles (10 km) of a farm in Juneau county, after extensive surveillance and testing for avian influenza.

There have been no new detections of HPAI in the county since the original incident in April affecting a flock of backyard birds. There have been no further detections in Wisconsin as a whole since 5 May.

DATCP confirmed on 16 April 16 that a flock of 33 mixed breed backyard poultry in Juneau County had been infected with H5N2 avian influenza.

Since then, DATCP say that they have successfully implemented a coordinated response with the property owners, USDA, and other state agencies to contain and eliminate the disease.

The affected farm was immediately quarantined and the remaining birds in the flock were depopulated.

“Even though we are starting to release quarantines, it’s not time to let down our guard quite yet,” said Dr Paul McGraw, Wisconsin State Veterinarian.

“As long as this virus might still be in the environment, we need to be closely watching birds for signs of illness.”

Bird owners are reminded that the poultry movement ban to shows, exhibitions and swap meets in Juneau and the other counties with infected properties, including Barron, Chippewa and Jefferson, still remains in effect until 31 May 2015.

Dr McGraw does not currently have plans to cancel bird exhibitions at any local, county or state fairs.

Further Reading

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