Avian Influenza 2015 Outbreak

 

We thought we would create this page to post updates on the recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza and the progress in eradicating it.   We think it is key to stay as informed as possible during this outbreak for the safety of your birds as well as your own safety.  For more information please feel free to visit any of the links we have posted here.  Information is obtained for this page from USDA APHIS, WHO, MN Board of Animal Health as well as varying news sources.  There is a link on this page to all information obtained for confirmation on validity.

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JULY 30th

As most of you know it  has been pretty quiet on the flu front.  Many farms are already re-populating with no new reported cases.  For MN re-populating and quarantine release visit

https://www.bah.state.mn.us/avian-influenza#recovery

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JUNE 25th

Light at the end of the tunnel !?!

Respite from H5N2 outbreaks continues for Minnesota, Iowa

The predicted summer break in H5N2 avian influenza activity is growing longer in hard-hit Minnesota and Iowa, allowing more areas to be released from quarantine and more poultry farms to restock their barns.

Minnesota has now gone 20 days with no new outbreaks, while Iowa has gone 9 days. Several weeks ago, animal health officials predicted that the outbreaks would fade with warmer summer weather and increased sunshine, conditions less favorable for the virus.

In a weekly update today, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) said seven farms in five counties (Kandiyohi, Meeker, Ottertail, Pope, and Stearns) have now been cleared to restock with poultry. Several other farms plan to restock next week.

In addition, uninfected farms in control zones around outbreak farms in nine counties have been released from quarantine, meaning they can move birds again, according to the MBAH. Six control areas have been released in the past week—four in Stearns County and one each in Lyon and Watonwan counties.

Minnesota has had outbreaks on 108 farms in 23 counties, while Iowa has had 77 in 18 counties.

Among other affected states, Nebraska reported its latest H5N2 outbreak Jun 16, while South Dakota’s last one was reported May 28. In Wisconsin and North Dakota, the latest incidents date back to May 4 and Apr 24. None of those states have had more than 10 events. (as written by http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/06/flu-scan-jun-25-2015)
MBAH avian flu information

JUNE 15th

USDA: H5N2 likely spreads by multiple routes

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) initial studies of how the H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus invades poultry farms point to no one clear factor but suggest that the explanation probably includes biosecurity gaps and possibly airborne transmission, the agency announced today.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) “cannot . . . associate HPAI transmission with one factor or group of factors in a statistically significant way at this time, and will continue to update this report regularly as more analyses are completed,” the agency said in a statement.

The USDA’s first epidemiologic report on the H5N2 situation reiterates the agency’s view that wild birds introduced H5N2 and H5N8 avian flu into commercial poultry originally, but says it is apparently spreading in other ways as well, given the number and proximity of farms affected.   READ MORE………

JUNE 12th

MORE GRIM NEWS

Poultry from Iowa spark avian flu worries in Arizona

Authorities in Arizona have quarantined four properties in the state because the sites imported poultry and eggs from an Iowa facility where birds fell ill with avian influenza shortly after the products were shipped, the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) announced yesterday.

“Thirteen quail and chickens and about 40 quail and partridge eggs were imported from a facility in Iowa,” the ADA said in a press release. “A short time after the birds and eggs were shipped to Arizona, birds at the facility became sick and initial test results for those birds came back positive for H5 Avian Influenza.”

The four properties that received the products are in Pinal, Mohave, Santa Cruz, and Yavapai counties, the ADA said. Birds at the sites will be tested, but it could take up to 6 days to get the results.

In the release, State Veterinarian Perry Durham, DVM, urged the public not to order birds or eggs from states where avian flu is circulating. “These birds and eggs came from a state where Avian Influenza is rampant, responsible for the loss of millions of turkeys and hens,” he said.

The statement included a list of the 21 states, mostly in the Midwest, where avian flu (H5N2 or H5N8) has been detected in recent months.

The ADA said the Iowa facility, which was not identified, shipped birds and eggs to “almost 75% of the country in the weeks before the initial testing,” suggesting a risk for many outbreaks. The agency noted that anyone importing birds into Arizona must have an original certificate of health for the birds and ensure they come from a non-controlled area.

Iowa gets a break

In other avian flu developments, authorities in hard-hit Iowa noted that the state has had only one outbreak this week, while more states announced restrictions on bird shows as a precaution against the disease.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) noted the avian flu slowdown in an update today. The last outbreak, reported Jun 8 in Sioux County, was the state’s 73rd.

The IDALS said that all infected turkey flocks in the state have been depopulated and are being composted, while all but one of the commercial layer chicken and pullet facilities have been depopulated.

The US Department of Agriculture has more than 2,100 staff and contract workers helping to respond to avian flu in Iowa, and more than 300 state employees have been involved in the response, the IDALS noted.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has now gone for a week with no new H5N2 outbreaks. The last one, reported Jun 5, brought the tally of affected farms to 108, involving more than 9 million birds.

Bird show restrictions

Also this week, Kansas joined the growing list of states banning bird shows and sales in the name of stopping H5N2 avian flu. The Kansas Department of Agriculture said all shows and events where birds from different flocks would be commingled are banned for the rest of this year.

Kansas has had just one H5N2 outbreak, detected in March in a backyard poultry flock in Leavenworth County, which is part of the Kansas City area.

Two days ago Wisconsin authorities announced narrower restrictions on bird shows and events. The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection banned poultry swap meets or shows that are not part of a county, district, or state fair, and set record-keeping requirements for poultry shows at such fairs.

The requirements pertain to contact information for exhibitors, the locations where poultry were kept, and certification that there were no recent bird deaths at those locations.

JUNE 8th

Michigan finds H5N2 in wild geese; Iowa hit again

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus H5N2 has been found in wild Canada geese in a Detroit suburb, marking its first detection in Michigan, and another poultry flock in Iowa has a probable outbreak, officials from the two states reported today.

In Michigan, three goslings that were collected last week in “a pretty urbanized area, near a mall” in Sterling Heights tested positive for the virus, Ed Golder, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), told CIDRAP News. He said the goslings were collected after some citizens noticed they were showing signs of neurologic illness, mainly head tremors and seizures. The city is on the north side of Detroit.

One of the goslings died after it was collected, and the other two were euthanized, Golder said. Samples tested positive at a University of Michigan laboratory in East Lansing, and the findings were confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, according to a press release from the Michigan DNR and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

Michigan is the 21st state to report a case of HPAI since December 2014 and the sixth state to detect the virus only in wild birds, the release said.

“While this is disappointing news that the H5N2 virus has been found in Michigan’s free-ranging bird population, it was not unexpected given avian influenza has been found in a number of our neighboring states and Ontario,” MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams, MPP, said in the release. She stressed that avian flu has not been found in any domestic poultry in the state.

The H5N2 virus struck two turkey farms and one chicken farm in southern Ontario in April.

As part of their response to the find, Michigan authorities said they would change their regular program of relocating nuisance geese from southeastern Michigan to other parts of the state. Geese from Macomb County, home of Sterling Heights, and neighboring Oakland County will not be relocated.

Also, officials will step up avian flu surveillance in the two counties and increase biosecurity measures for contractors who relocate geese.

Iowa reports 73rd outbreak

Meanwhile, a mixed flock of 3,800 birds in Sioux County, Iowa, has tested positive for an H5 virus, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) reported today. Confirmatory testing by the NVSL is awaited.   READ MORE….

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JUNE 3rd

MN Board of Animal Health : Permit requirements for control areas

All avian influenza (AI) permit requests and supporting documents should be submitted to mnairesponse@state.mn.us

A permit is required for each movement into or out of an AI control area for the poultry/products listed below:

  • Birds,
  • Eggs,
  • Semen,
  • Manure,
  • Litter, and
  • Feed deliveries.

Permits are for movement from the origin premises – therefore, requests for permits should come from the origin premises. All requests should be submitted 24 – 48 hours prior to the desired movement.


Birds, Semen or Eggs from Commercial Farms

  1. Testing. Two negative PCR tests (5 bird pooled samples for each barn) are required. Samples for the second test must be collected the day prior to the date of each shipment.  Test results must be verified before a permit is issued.
  2. Mortality logs. A mortality log of the previous 14 days for each barn on the site must be submitted the day prior to the date of each shipment.
  3. Biosecurity audits. A biosecurity audit must be submitted one time for each premises. Daily audits are no longer required.

Table Eggs or Poultry for Slaughter from Backyard Poultry Flocks

Movement of table eggs or poultry moving directly to slaughter within or out of a control area to destinations without poultry may be allowed from premises where the flock size is less than 500 birds. The following permit conditions apply:

  • Poultry on site not destined for slaughter remain quarantined
  • Poultry on site have had at least one negative PCR test
  • Any unusual or increased mortality is reported immediately to the Board and will be investigated by a regulatory official
  • Permit allows egg movement or poultry movement directly to locations without poultry such as a farmer’s market or poultry processing facility
    • Movement records of the location, quantity moved and date will be kept and available to the Board on request
  • Poultry moved for slaughter must be:
    • Transported in washed and clean crates/coops
    • Crates/coops and vehicle exterior and interior must be washed prior to returning home
    • Clean clothing/footwear must be worn prior to returning to flock (if any) on premises
  • All eggs to be moved off site must be:
    • Washed and free of fecal matter
    • Stored in new egg cartons or cases
    • Handlers must have clean clothing, footwear, and transport eggs in clean vehicles

If all conditions can be met, a permit will be issued and valid for 30 days.


Manure and Litter Off of a Non-Infected Farm

Manure and litter can be moved off non-infected poultry farms in a control area with an approved permit to move. Negative AI test results for the farm must be confirmed before the permit is issued.

Requests must include:

  1. Origin. This is the farm location where the manure or litter is currently located.
  2. Destination. The destination location can be one of two options:
  • The address of the company or business that will be moving/spreading the litter or;
  • The destination site if the litter is going for incineration.

One permit will be issued to move manure or litter from one farm and will be valid for three days. If additional time is needed, another permit must be issued.


Feed Delivery Permitting

For feed mill facilities with one or more delivery locations that are poultry sites in a control area:

Requirements

  1. All deliveries of feed to a poultry site must be permitted, regardless of AI control zone designation.
    • 30 day blanket permits will be issued for each feed mill location, covering all delivery sites.
  2. Logs of all deliveries must be submitted monthly at the time of permit renewal.
  3. Deliveries to any sites known to have had HPAI infected poultry must have prior approval by the site’s case manager.
  4. Ingredients delivered to feed mills will no longer need permitting.

Permitting Process

READ MORE: https://www.bah.state.mn.us/avian-influenza

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JUNE 2nd

An email I received regarding all Ohio poultry shows in 2015:

To All,
As of 11;00 am Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, has cancelled all poultry shows, exhibits, swaps, auctions, and markets in Ohio until January 1, 2016 due to the possible spread of Avian Flu. There will be a detailed press release to the media at 12;30 today.
Poultry includes chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, peafowl, guineas, quail, and turkeys.
Ohio Extension service will also be releasing suggestions on substitutions for poultry projects at the fair instead of bringing poultry.
More news as I receive it.
Mike
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JUNE 2nd

Iowa, Minnesota report more avian flu; bird-show bans spread

Beleaguered Iowa and Minnesota reported three more avian flu outbreaks between them today, while Ohio and Michigan joined the list of states banning all bird shows and sales in an effort to squelch the virus.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued recommendations for responding to any human infections with the novel avian flu viruses. No such cases have been reported so far.

Two Iowa outbreaks, one in Minnesota

Iowa officials reported two probable avian flu outbreaks, with initial tests showing an H5 virus on a Clay County farm with an estimated 1.1 million pullets and a Hamilton County farm with an estimated 18,000 turkeys. Confirmatory test results from the US Department of Agriculture are awaited, said the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

The agency said the outbreaks are the second in each county. Yesterday, however, the agency listed another Hamilton County turkey outbreak as that county’s second one.

Iowa has had 71 outbreaks (62 confirmed) in 17 counties, affecting about 28 million chickens and 1.2 million turkeys, according to IDALS data.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MDPS) today announced yet another turkey-farm outbreak in the state’s hardest-hit county, Kandiyohi, raising the number of affected farms there to 39. The agency said an estimate of the size of the affected flock is pending.

With the new outbreak, Minnesota’s count of stricken farms increased to 104 in 23 counties, the DPS said. Birds on 96 of the farms have been euthanized, and carcass disposal is complete on 52 of them, the agency reported.

More poultry-show bans

In other news, Ohio and Michigan—neither of which has reported any avian flu outbreaks this year—both announced a ban on all bird shows and sales as part of their effort to keep avian flu out.

In what it called an “aggressive move” to protect Ohio’s $2.3 billion poultry industry, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today announced the cancellation of all live-bird exhibitions. The ban covers the Ohio State Fair, county fairs, and all other gatherings of birds for show or sale, including swap meets, the agency said.

Ohio is the second-largest egg producer in the country, with 28 million laying chickens, 12 million broilers, 8.5 million pullets, and 2 million turkeys, the ODA said. The state’s egg, chicken, and turkey farms employ more than 14,600 workers.

Michigan announced a similarly broad ban yesterday. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the ban includes, but is not limited to, “shows, exhibitions, swap meets, petting zoos at fairs, game bird and waterfowl fair displays, and Miracle of Life exhibits.”

“While there are currently no known cases of HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] in Michigan, commitment to protecting the health of all of the state’s poultry flocks—backyard and commercial farmers—led us to making this difficult decision,” said State Veterinarian James Averill, DVM, PhD, in announcing the ban.

Ohio and Michigan joined several other states that have already banned bird shows as a precaution. Minnesota took action on May 15, Iowa on May 21, and Indiana on May 27.

CDC guidance for health response

The CDC issued its recommendations for human health investigations and responses associated with avian flu outbreaks in the form of a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory this afternoon. The guidance refers to theH5N2, H5N8, and H5N1 (not the Eurasian H5N1) viruses that have emerged in North America within the past several months. The vast majority of outbreaks have involved H5N2.

“While these recently-identified HPAI H5 viruses are not known to have caused disease in humans, their appearance in North American birds may increase the likelihood of human infection in the United States,” the agency said.

“CDC considers the risk to the general public from these newly-identified US HPAI H5 viruses to be low; however, people with close or prolonged unprotected contact with infected birds or contaminated environments may be at greater risk of infection,” it added.

The agency advises that clinicians should consider the possibility of HPAI H5 virus infection in persons who have a respiratory illness and a relevant exposure history, including those who have had contact with potentially infected birds.

The statement adds that:

  • State health departments should investigate potential human H5 virus infections and notify the agency within 24 hours when doing so
  • People should avoid contact with sick or dead birds, bird feces, and other potentially contaminated materials
  • People exposed to potentially infected birds should be monitored for 10 days

The statement also includes recommendations for surveillance, testing, worker protection, infection control, and antiviral treatment.

MAY 29th

Just a recap as to the affected areas.  To date there are 20 states with confirmed cases of A.I.  Those states are:

AR, CA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, and WY  affecting a total of 202 facilities. 183 are commercial and 19 are backyard.

We will continue to update this page as information becomes available.

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MAY 26th

Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa flocks hit with avian flu

Minnesota officials today announced six new avian flu outbreaks on commercial turkey farms—ending a 10-day outbreak drought—and Iowa confirmed three new H5 outbreaks while Nebraska has had its third H5N2 event.

Minnesota streak ended

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) today reported that six turkey flocks are “presumptive positive” for avian flu after the state went 10 days without an outbreak. The outbreaks raise the number to 94 in the state since early last month, and a newly affected county raises the number of affected Minnesota counties to 22.

One outbreak is in Brown County in the Southwest part of the state, its first. It involves 46,800 turkeys, the only event for which the flock size is reported, the DPS said in a press release.

Two outbreaks hit farms in Renville County, its third and fourth avian flu detections. And the other three are in by far the hardest-hit county, Kandiyohi, which now has had 36 outbreaks. Renville adjoins Brown County to its north, and Kandiyohi sits just north of Renville County.

A spokesperson with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) told CIDRAP News that information on flock size should be coming soon, and that the MBAH doesn’t have confirmation on any of these flocks from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

She pointed out that H5N2 has caused all Minnesota outbreaks this year.

The DPS noted in its news release that birds on 87 of the state’s affected farms have been euthanized, and that carcass disposal is complete on 23 of them. More than 8 million Minnesota poultry have been affected by avian flu, with flock numbers unknown for several outbreaks.

Two new Iowa counties affected

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) today reported probable H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in two newly affected counties, Adair and Webster.

The outbreak in Adair County, in the southwestern part of Iowa, struck a commercial laying operation housing an estimated 975,000 birds, which had shown increased mortality. Increased bird deaths also alerted authorities to the outbreak in Webster County, which affected a commercial egg farm with 160,000 birds located in the central part of the state.

On May 22 the IDALS reported an H5 outbreak in Pocahontas County in the north-central part of the state.   READ MORE……….

MAY 12th

Egg farm hit in Nebraska’s first H5N2 event

Nebraska today joined the list of Midwestern states battling the H5N2 avian flu virus, with an outbreak on a large layer chicken farm, while neighboring Iowa reported four more avian flu outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms.

Nebraska incursion

The virus has struck a farm housing 1.7 million layer chickens in Dixon County in northeastern Nebraska, northwest of Sioux City, Iowa, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today. The area is not far from several northwestern Iowa counties that have been battling H5N2.

APHIS said increased deaths in the chicken flock prompted initial testing by the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmatory testing by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. As in other outbreaks, officials quarantined the farm and made plans to destroy the surviving chickens as a precaution.

At the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), Director Greg Ibach said in a statement, “Unfortunately, Nebraska has joined a long list of states currently dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza. We are working closely with our counterparts at USDA APHIS, as well as all of our Nebraska state agency partners to ensure we are following proper protocols to address this situation. The goal is to quarantine the flock and attempt to control and contain the virus as quickly as possible.”

Ibach said officials will visit all sites that have poultry within a 6.2-mile radius of the outbreak to alert owners and monitor flocks for the disease.

Nebraska is the 10th-ranked egg-producing state, with about 9.45 million hens, according to an Omaha World-Herald story today. That number suggests that the 1.7 million chickens on the affected farm account for roughly a sixth of the state’s layer hens.

Besides being next-door to hard-hit Iowa, where more than 20 million chickens have been lost, Nebraska borders South Dakota, which has had several outbreaks. Another near neighbor is Minnesota, which has had 85 outbreaks, most of them on turkey farms.

APHIS noted that Nebraska, like South Dakota, lies in the Central Flyway for migratory birds. Migratory waterfowl are assumed to have carried the H5N2 virus to the Midwest, but exactly how it is getting into poultry barns has not been determined.  READ MORE….

MAY 11th

In eastward jump, H5N8 surfaces in Indiana……

The highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu virus, previously found in the United States only in the West, has been detected in a backyard poultry flock in Indiana, state and federal officials announced today.

Meanwhile, Minnesota reported today that another turkey farm has been hit by the H5N2 virus. That virus, now widespread in the Midwest, is believed to be an offshoot of H5N8, which migrated to North America from Asia last year.

Indiana discovery

The H5N8 virus was detected in a backyard flock in northeastern Indiana’s Whitley County, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) announced today. The board said state veterinarians collected samples from the flock after the owner reported that several chickens had died.

The flock comprised 77 birds, including ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, the BOAH said. It said all of the birds were removed from the site to prevent further spread of the disease, and the board is contacting poultry owners in the area to raise awareness and determine if the disease has spread.

The H5N8 virus had previously been found only in the Pacific migratory bird flyway, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health inspection Service (APHIS) noted in a statement. Indiana lies in the Mississippi flyway.

The virus, which originated in Asia, made its first known US appearance in a captive gyrfalcon in Washington state last December. It was subsequently found in a number of wild birds in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada, in one commercial turkey flock and one commercial chicken flock in California, and in backyard poultry in Oregon.

Researchers say the H5N2 virus arose when H5N8 reassorted with North American H5 avian flu viruses in wild birds. In the United States, both strains were detected in Washington state about the same time.

Both H5N8 and H5N2 are believed to pose little risk to humans, as no human infections with either strain have been reported.

H5N2 in Minnesota

In Minnesota, where the turkey industry has been hit hard by H5N2 outbreaks the past 2 months, a new one was reported today on a turkey farm in Swift County in the west-central part of the state. It borders Kandiyohi County, where 31 turkey farms have been struck by the virus.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) said the outbreak is Swift County’s seventh. The size of the flock has not yet been reported.

H5N2 has affected 85 Minnesota farms in 21 counties, with close to 5.7 million birds killed by the virus or culled to prevent its spread, the DPS said. Remaining birds on 82 farms have been euthanized, the agency reported.

In neighboring Iowa, where egg farms have been hit hard by H5N2, the state agriculture department reported no new outbreaks by late this afternoon. The state had 44 outbreaks by the end of last week.

See also:

May 11 APHIS statement

May 11 Indiana BOAH statement

USDA table of H5N2 and H5N8 findings in poultry and captive wild birds

May 11 Minnesota DPS update

MAY 7th

Poultry experts and industry officials say the H5N2 avian flu virus is changing its transmission pattern, hitting multiple neighboring farms instead of widely separated ones, and in the process raising questions about possible airborne spread and even changes in the virus itself.

Meanwhile, Minnesota reported two more turkey-farm H5N2 outbreaks today, while Iowa reported H5 outbreaks on one chicken farm and one turkey farm.

Possible farm-to-farm spread

In the early days of the H5N2 crisis, which began in Minnesota in early March, the virus struck widely separated farms in a seemingly random pattern. And in most cases in Minnesota, only one barn on each farm was affected. The conventional theory was that wild birds had brought the virus to the Midwest and that it was getting into poultry barns via wild-bird feces clinging to workers or equipment.

But now some counties have many infected farms, meaning the outbreaks are close together. Exhibit A is Kandiyohi County, the state’s top turkey producer, where 32 farms have been hit. Others are Stearns County, with 14 outbreaks, and Meeker County, with 8.

This has prompted talk of lateral spread of the virus from farm to farm. For example, on a conference call with reporters yesterday, Minnesota State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann, DVM, MS, commented, “Some poultry veterinarians have mentioned that it could be spreading from farm to farm through the air.”

“This idea of lateral spread is one theory, it has not been confirmed,” he added. His comments were included in a summary of the call provided by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH).

Carol Cardona, DVM, PhD, an avian health expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, said the results of epidemiologic investigations have not yet been divulged, but she assumes the speculation about lateral spread of the virus “is based on the fact that there are clusters of farms now starting to appear and the virus appears to have changed, so that now multiple barns are infected all at same time.”

“Previously it didn’t even spread to the next barn, so it wasn’t spreading from farm to farm,” she said. “Now it seems to have done that. . . . Multiple barns become infected at the same time.”

Has virus changed?

She suggested that the change in transmission pattern may mean that the virus has mutated in some way. “Influenza mutates with every host it infects,” she said. “When it passages through wild birds or through domestic poultry, it will change. That’s a given.”

A similar view was voiced by an egg company executive in Wisconsin, according to a May 5 story in the Chippewa Herald, a newspaper in Chippewa Falls, Wis. John Brunquell, president of Egg Innovations, Port Washington, Wis., which owns 60 farms, said, “We believe all these infections you’re hearing about now are from facility to facility” and that migratory waterfowl are no longer the main vehicle for the virus.

He added that the theory gaining the most support is that the virus has mutated so that it can stay active on feathers, dust, or manure long enough to reach a poultry barn by air after it’s blown out of another nearby facility’s exhaust system, according to the story.

Another infectious disease expert, Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said the changing transmission picture doesn’t necessarily mean the virus has mutated. He is director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News.

“There’s been evidence of transmission like this before, in the Netherlands, so I’m not sure this necessarily means that,” he said. “It could, but we need the isolates tested to find this out. It could be just acting like any other highly pathogenic [avian flu] virus we see, with wind-driven virus transmission. It just hasn’t been stopped by the current level of biosecurity.”

He said wind-driven transmission is “surely a possibility,” but so far its role is unknown. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials have mentioned the possibility of H5N2 being carried into poultry houses by windborne feathers or dust.

Possibly lending credence to that theory is a study yesterday in PLoS One. A Dutch research team reported they found avian flu viruses via air sampling in and near barns housing poultry that were infected with several different low-pathogenic avian flu viruses: H7N7, H9N2, H5N2, and H10N9.

The team used filters to take airborne dust samples inside, upwind, and downwind of the poultry barns, then used reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to detect viruses in the samples. The researchers didn’t, however, isolate viable viruses from the environmental samples.

There has been some talk of an air sampling study in Minnesota, but it wasn’t clear today if any such study has been launched.

Osterholm said the University of Minnesota, the USDA, and a large poultry company are collaborating on a big case-control study to try to shed more light on the epidemiology of H5N2. He called it an “exhaustive review” that compares affected and unaffected farms.

“It’s by far the most comprehensive case-control study I know of that’s ever been done on poultry outbreaks,” he said. He was unsure when the findings would be released.

Minnesota and Iowa outbreaks

The two Minnesota outbreaks announced today are the 32nd event in Kandiyohi County and the sixth in Meeker County, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported. Flock size information was not yet available for either one.

The two incidents raise the state’s count to 84 affected farms in 21 counties. The official bird toll remains at about 5.6 million, which does not include farms where bird counts are still awaited.

In Iowa, agriculture officials today announced that the H5 virus has turned up on two more farms in counties that have been hit before, Osceola and Cherokee, bringing the number of affected sites in the state to 35.

The Osceola outbreak involves a pullet farm housing about 100,000 chickens, and the Cherokee County event affects a turkey farm where the number of birds is pending, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

Based on earlier reports, the latest events, if confirmed, increase the overall H5N2 toll in Iowa to at least 20.4 million birds, most of them layer hens.

News writer Lisa Schnirring contributed to this report.

APRIL 27th

Increased human protections offered as H5N2 outbreak spreads

Reuters

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CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of farm workers exposed to a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu have been offered antiviral medication as a preventative measure in recent days, U.S. public health officials said.

To date, the virulent H5N2 influenza, which has infected turkeys and chickens on Midwestern poultry farms, has not affected humans. But because flu viruses are highly mutable, there is a worry that those in direct contact with infected birds could fall ill from the disease.

How severe such human infections could be is not known. But even if some people become ill, government researchers and public health experts said, it is highly unlikely the illness could be passed between humans – in part due to the genetic make-up of this particular flu strain.

Dr. Alicia Fry, a medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division, said that while health officials are cautiously optimistic that humans will not be affected, her agency has isolated a pure strain of the H5N2 virus for potential use in a human vaccine, should one be needed.

Concerns about human health risk have prompted investigators to ramp up biosecurity measures on infected farms, with some government staff overseeing the culling of birds wearing full protective body suits and ventilators.  READ MORE……….

And The Dismal News Continues………

APRIL 23

Minnesota declares H5N2 emergency as spread continues

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton today declared an emergency over the widespread H5N2 avian influenza invasion of poultry farms, as the state’s first outbreaks in chickens and backyard poultry were reported and Wisconsin and Iowa each announced a new turkey outbreak.

By declaring a state of emergency, Dayton activated an emergency operations plan to support the state’s response to the crisis, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The state has logged 46 outbreaks in 16 counties, with more than 2.63 million birds either killed by the virus or destroyed to stop its spread, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH).

Dayton’s action also calls for National Guard troops to be used as needed, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether any would be called up, the story said. On Apr 20, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help respond to H5N2, after the state veterinarian asked that a few Guard members be made available.

Large chicken farm hit

Minnesota’s first H5N2 outbreak on a commercial chicken farm was reported today at J & A Farms, an egg operation about 20 miles west of Detroit Lakes in the northwest, the Star Tribune reported. In addition, the MBAH reported an outbreak in a mixed backyard flock of 150 poultry in Pipestone County, near the state’s southwestern corner, the county’s first outbreak.

Amon Baer, owner of the chicken farm near Detroit Lakes, told the newspaper he must destroy about 300,000 chickens after tests he ordered confirmed the presence of the virus. The story said the MBAH was aware of the test result and was in the process of confirming it. If confirmed, the outbreak will push the state’s losses of turkeys and chickens close to 3 million.

Baer said that dealing with the outbreak will be very costly, since it includes cleaning and disinfecting facilities in addition to culling all the birds, according to the story. He said federal assistance will cover some of his losses but not nearly all of them.

Chickens are believed to be less susceptible than turkeys to H5N2, but a few chicken-farm outbreaks have been reported, including at least one each in Iowa and Wisconsin

The MBAH’s list of 46 Minnesota outbreaks does yet not include the chicken-farm event. In addition, one of 15 reported outbreaks in Kandiyohi County is not yet included in the total, because the number of affected birds has not yet been confirmed, MBAH spokeswoman Bethany Hahn said today.

Another Wisconsin outbreak

Meanwhile, Wisconsin officials today reported the state’s sixth H5N2 outbreak, on a farm with 90,000 turkeys. It’s the second outbreak in Barron County in the northwestern part of the state.

In a statement, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said the property was quarantined and the surviving birds will be destroyed, as neighboring poultry owners are notified.

Wisconsin’s first H5N2 outbreak surfaced in Jefferson County on Apr 13, and more outbreaks have occurred since then in Jefferson, Juneau, Chippewa, and Barron counties. In those counties, State Veterinarian Paul McGraw has banned movement of poultry to shows and swap meets, the statement noted.  READ MORE………

APRIL 22

USDA hopes weather will help as H5N2 outbreaks mount

Warm weather and plenty of sunshine are the factors most likely to halt, at least for now, the series of H5N2 avian flu outbreaks plaguing poultry farms across the Midwest, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said today, a few hours before an onslaught of 13 new outbreaks in Minnesota was reported.

“When warm weather comes in consistently across the country I think we’ll stop seeing new cases,” John Clifford, DVM, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, said at a morning press conference about the virus that has spelled death for millions of turkeys and chickens in recent weeks.

“I can’t predict what will happen in the fall, but we need to prepare and that’s what we’re doing,” he added.

His comments came in the wake of four more turkey-farm outbreaks reported late yesterday, three in Minnesota and one in South Dakota. And late this afternoon the USDA and Minnesota officials reported that the virus has hit 13 more turkey farms in the state, while Wisconsin officials reported two H5 outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms in different counties, with test results on the specific subtype awaited.  READ MORE…..

APRIL 20th

CHICAGO (Reuters) -By Tom Polansek-

Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, found a lethal strain of bird flu in millions of hens at an egg-laying facility on Monday, the worst case so far in a national outbreak that prompted Wisconsin to declare a state of emergency.

The infected Iowa birds were being raised near the city of Harris by Sunrise Farms, an affiliate of Sonstegard Foods Company, the company said.

The facility houses 3.8 million hens, according to the company, which sells eggs to food manufacturers, government agencies and retailers.

“We went to great lengths to prevent our birds from contracting AI (avian influenza), but despite best efforts we now confirm many of our birds are testing positive,” Sonstegard said in a statement.

The flock has been quarantined, and birds on the property will be culled to prevent the spread of the disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The virus can kill nearly an entire infected flock within 48 hours.

The Agriculture Department said the Iowa flock numbered 5.3 million birds. The larger figure likely represents the capacity of the farm, while the company number was the actual number of birds on site, said Bill Northey, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture.  READ MORE..

APRIL 20th

H5N2 strikes again in Iowa, Minnesota

The H5N2 avian influenza virus has again widened its footprint, invading a large chicken farm in Iowa—the second outbreak in that state—and affecting two more turkey farms in Minnesota, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported today.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5 virus has hit a chicken farm in Ontario near where H5N2 struck a turkey farm earlier this month, Canadian authorities reported over the weekend. They have not yet specified the virus subtype, but H5N2 seems likely.

Iowa, Minnesota outbreaks

In Iowa, the virus invaded a commercial farm with 5.3 million chickens in the far northwestern county of Osceola, the Iowa Department of Agriculture (IDA) reported. That figure makes the farm the largest one affected by H5N2 so far.

Osceola borders Nobles County, Minnesota, which had a turkey farm outbreak earlier this month, and lies northwest of Buena Vista County, where a farm with 27,000 turkeys was reported hit by the virus on Apr 14, in Iowa’s first H5N2 outbreak.

Increased deaths in the Osceola County flock prompted authorities to send samples to the South Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for preliminary testing, the IDA said. The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings.

In Minnesota, a farm with 23,000 turkeys in Kandiyohi County—the state’s top turkey-growing county—was hit by the virus, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) reported today. In addition, authorities decided to euthanize all 9,000 turkeys on another farm because of their “exposure” to those on the infected farm, the agency said on its online list of outbreaks.

MBAH spokeswoman Bethany Hahn said the smaller flock was destroyed because of its relationship to the larger one, but said she had no further details on the connection. The two farms are the county’s sixth and seventh to be victimized by H5N2.

With the two latest additions, the number of affected farms in Minnesota has increased to 28, in 14 counties, with more than 1.7 million birds lost. Minnesota is the nation’s leading turkey-producing state, growing about 46 million birds annually. READ MORE….

 

APRIL 17th

H5N2 strikes more Minnesota farms, South Dakota flock

Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian flu has struck turkeys on four more Minnesota farms plus one in South Dakota in an outbreak that has now affected more than 1.7 million Minnesota birds, officials said.

In an update today, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that Otter Tail and Roseau counties in Minnesota have been affected for the first time. The virus felled birds in a flock of 21,000 turkeys in Otter Tail County, whereas a farm housing 26,000 turkeys was affected in Roseau County.

In addition, Stearns County reported its sixth H5N2 outbreak, in a flock of 67,000 turkeys. And Kandiyohi County logged its fifth outbreak, affecting 152,000 turkeys. Kandiyohi and Stearns are the top turkey-producing counties in Minnesota, while Otter Tail is fifth, according to data from the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The state leads the nation in turkey production.

Roseau County is in the far northwestern part of the state, adjacent to Canada, marking by far the farthest north incursion of H5N2 in the state to date. Otter Tail, in the central western portion of the state, is also farther north than previous outbreaks.

Fourteen Minnesota counties have now been affected by 26 farm outbreaks, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH). All told, 1,718,500 Minnesota turkeys have been affected since the outbreak began in the state in early March.

All the Minnesota farms reside on the Mississippi flyway for migratory birds. Experts have said wild birds may play a role in H5N2 spread.

5th South Dakota farm affected

The affected farm in South Dakota, with 66,600 turkeys, is in Roberts County in the far northeast corner of the state, adjoining both Minnesota and North Dakota, which confirmed its first H5N2 outbreak a week ago.

South Dakota has now confirmed five H5N2 outbreaks in five counties scattered throughout the eastern half of the state. All the outbreaks occurred this month, and all the affected farms lie along the Central US flyway.

Today’s APHIS update also notes an outbreak among 126,700 turkeys in Wisconsin’s Barron County. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection reported the outbreak yesterday, numbering the flock at an even 126,000.

The APHIS update noted that federal and state authorities will follow the typical outbreak response steps of quarantining affected farms, depopulating flocks, and ensuring that affected poultry do not enter the food system.

H5N2 has also surfaced in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and Montana since early March, affecting more than 2.4 million poultry in central states. Earlier in the winter it hit several poultry flocks in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. A few detections in wild birds have been reported as well.

Minnesota enlists turkey hunters

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking successful wild-turkey hunters in the counties at the heart of the H5N2 outbreak—Kandiyohi, Pope, Meeker, Swift, and Stearns—to present their downed birds for sample collection starting on Apr 20.

Hunters can bring their turkeys to one of four locations, where officials will take swabs and collect information at hunters’ vehicles, and hunters will be able to keep their birds, the DNR said in a press release today. Officials will notify hunters if their birds test positive.

“[Highly pathogenic avian influenza] has not yet been found in wild turkeys, but it has been found in domestic turkeys in these and other Minnesota counties,” said Michelle Carstensen, PhD, DNR wildlife health program supervisor. “We chose those five counties to enlist the help of hunters because they have sufficient wild turkey populations.”

The DNR also recommends that turkey hunters practice good hygiene while field dressing their birds and cook the meat to a safe internal temperature to destroy any pathogens. The press release emphasized that H5N2 avian flu is considered a low risk to people and there have been no human cases to date.  READ MORE…….

APRIL 16th

H5N2 continues to spread in WI

MADISON —The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responding to the detection of avian influenza in an additional two poultry flocks in Wisconsin. There are now three cases in Wisconsin. These flocks are within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. While lethal to domestic poultry, the strain of virus detected is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health or the food supply.
The affected flocks are in:
· Juneau County—40 mixed breed birds in a backyard flock
· Barron County—126,000 turkeys in a commercial turkey flock

 

APRIL 14th

H5N2 strikes 8 more Minnesota farms, reaches Iowa

The H5N2 avian influenza virus has taken another big and unexplained jump, invading eight more Minnesota turkey farms in six counties and crossing the border to hit a turkey farm in northwestern Iowa, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today.

The new Minnesota outbreaks raise the state’s total since early march to 22, with the number of affected turkeys well above 1 million. Three of the six counties cited in today’s announcement are facing their first incursion of the virus.

Today’s report, combined with a USDA list of earlier outbreaks, indicates a total of 32 H5N2 outbreaks in commercial poultry in the Midwest since the beginning of March. All but one of those have involved turkeys; yesterday a chicken-farm outbreak was reported in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Minnesota toll

In Minnesota, the virus hit Swift County for the first time, affecting two farms housing 154,000 and 160,000 turkeys. The county is in west-central Minnesota and adjoins Kandiyohi County, which is the state’s top turkey-producing county and also has a newly reported outbreak, its fourth, on a farm with 30,000 turkeys.

Also hit for the first time were Redwood County in the southwestern part of the state and La Sueur County, which lies southwest of the Twin Cities. The affected farms have 56,000 and 21,500 turkeys, respectively.

The other new outbreaks included two in centrally located Meeker County (and Kandiyohi’s neighbor on the east), where flocks of 20,000 and 25,000 turkeys were infected, and the fifth outbreak in Stearns County in the central part of the state, where a farm with 76,000 turkeys was hit. Stearns is second in the state in turkey production.

All told, the outbreaks affected 542,500 birds. As in the previous incidents, the virus was first detected by testing at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, with confirmation by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services lab in Ames, Iowa.

Minnesota is the country’s leading turkey-producing state.   READ MORE……

 

APRIL 13th

H5N2 reaches Wisconsin, expands in SD, Minnesota

The rash of H5N2 avian influenza outbreaks has spread farther across the Midwest, with a Wisconsin chicken farm joining the list of affected sites today, following two new turkey outbreaks in South Dakota and another in Minnesota over the weekend.

Poultry scientists say it’s a mystery why the virus is popping up in many widely scattered locations in a short period, especially given that on most farms, just one of several barns is hit by the virus. In Minnesota, wildlife experts have not found the virus in any wild birds so far.

Wisconsin, South Dakota, Minnesota outbreaks

The outbreak in southeastern Wisconsin’s Jefferson County is the first on a commercial chicken farm in the Midwest, all of the previous ones having involved turkey farms (though a backyard poultry flock in Kansas was hit in March). The virus struck a commercial flock of 200,000 layer chickens, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported.

Increased deaths in the flock prompted officials to commission testing by the Missouri Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, with results confirmed by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, the USDA said.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, in a statement today, put the size of the flock at 180,000. The USDA and state officials said they plan to mount the standard response to the outbreak, including quarantine of the farm, culling of all the chickens, and testing of poultry in the surrounding area.

A mysterious pattern

The H5N2 virus has been found in a few wild birds, which can carry it without appearing sick. Officials believe wild waterfowl have been spreading it across the country. Infected birds shed the virus in their feces, leading to the suspicion that the recent outbreaks have been sparked by feces somehow carried into poultry barns by vehicles or people.

But in Minnesota, at least, investigators haven’t been able to confirm or rule out that suspicion, nor have they found the virus in fresh fecal samples collected from wild ducks near affected farms.

Bethany Hahn, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH), said today that the investigation by a large group of USDA and state officials has not yet come up with any solid answers on how the virus is spreading.

“Some of the affected flocks are in close proximity to each other,” she commented by e-mail. “But other than geographical, there are no apparent connections between the affected flocks. Once the epi[demiologic] investigations are finished and we have a more complete picture, we will share that information.”

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been testing fecal samples from wild ducks near some of the affected turkey farms and has not yet found the H5N2 virus. Michelle Carstensen, PhD, the DNR’s wildlife health program supervisor, reported today that 240 samples collected last week all tested negative.

She said 120 samples were from Stearns County, the site of four outbreaks, and 120 came from Lac Qui Parle County, which has had one incident. More samples are being collected this week in those two countries and three others, she added.  READ MORE……

 

APRIL 11th

Avian Influenza in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a third commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota.  This is the fourteenth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 38,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States.   APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

 

APRIL 10th

The highly pathogenic form of H5N2 avian flu was confirmed today on four more commercial turkey farms in Minnesota—three in previously unaffected counties—affecting 189,000 birds, while an H5 strain was detected in a North Dakota turkey flock.

The virus has now infected turkeys on 13 Minnesota farms in a little over a month. Minnesota officials also announced today that a farm housing more than 300,000 turkeys whose outbreak was announced 2 days ago will need to cull all the birds on its premises.

Almost 900,000 Minnesota birds now affected

The new outbreaks have affected 48,000 turkeys in Cottonwood County, 66,000 in Lyon County, 30,000 in Watonwan County, and 45,000 in Stearns County, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today in an update.

The 189,000 newly affected turkeys bring to 872,000 the number of affected birds on Minnesota commercial farms since early March, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) said in an update today.

The outbreak in Stearns County is its fourth in recent weeks, while the other three counties are experiencing their first outbreaks. The newly affected counties are in the southwest corner of the state, south of the Minnesota River, while Stearns County is in central Minnesota. Cottonwood and Watonwan are neighboring counties, while Cottonwood abuts Nobles County, which reported an outbreak on Apr 2.

All nine affected Minnesota counties are in the Mississippi flyway followed by migrating wild birds.

As with previous outbreaks, samples from the four newly affected flocks were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) national lab in Ames, Iowa, after elevated levels of bird deaths were noted.

All birds on the affected farms will be euthanized to prevent disease spread, officials noted.

The MBAH also said today that all turkeys on a Meeker County farm of 310,000 birds that was confirmed to be H5N2 infected on Apr 8 will need to be euthanized. Beth Thompson, DVM, JD, MBAH assistant director, told CIDRAP News on Apr 8 that there was a chance that some of the turkeys might be spared, but that did not turn out to be the case.

Minnesota is the nation’s largest turkey producer, at 46 million birds per year, according to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA). Newly affected Lyon County is the fourth-leading turkey-producing county in Minnesota, according to the MTGA. Kandiyohi, which has had two H5N2 outbreaks, leads the state, followed by Stearns County.

H5 in North Dakota

Meanwhile, a state veterinary lab in North Dakota confirmed H5 avian flu in a commercial turkey flock in Dickey County in the southeastern part of the state on the border with South Dakota, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday.

North Dakota State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab confirmed that samples from the flock of 40,000 turkeys tested positive for H5 after the flock owner reported elevated death rates. State officials are awaiting results from the APHIS lab in Ames for the exact strain, which could be H5N2.

South Dakota has had two H5N2 outbreaks in a week, the most recent reported yesterday. They were in separate counties in the east-central part of the state, more than 100 miles from the North Dakota outbreak.

In addition to the Minnesota and South Dakota outbreaks, Missouri has had two H5N2 outbreaks in recent weeks and Arkansas one. The virus was also confirmed in a backyard poultry flock in Kansas last month, and earlier in the winter it cropped up in several western states.

The APHIS said in today’s update that the USDA’s avian flu response plans call for federal and state officials to follow five response steps: (1) quarantining poultry and equipment, (2) eradicating affected flocks, (3) monitoring wild and domestic birds in the outbreak region, (4) disinfecting affected farms, and (5) testing the farm to ensure it is free of avian flu viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the risk of H5N2 to humans low. Human cases have yet to be detected.

APRIL 10th

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Cases in Four Minnesota Counties

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in additional four commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota.  There are thirteen total confirmed cases in Minnesota.  These flocks are within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

The affected flocks are in:

·         Cottonwood County – 48,000 turkeys

·         Lyon County – 66,000 turkeys

·         Stearns County 45,000 turkeys (4th detection in the county)

·         Watonwan County – 30,000 turkeys

APRIL 9th

H5N2 hits second South Dakota turkey farm

A second turkey farm in South Dakota has been hit by the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 virus, a week after the state’s first outbreak was reported, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today, adding to the rising toll of H5N2 incidents in the Midwest.

The virus surfaced on a farm in east-central South Dakota’s Kingsbury County, which lies just east of Beadle County, the site of an outbreak reported Apr 2.

The farm has been quarantined, and the 34,000 turkeys housed there will be destroyed to keep the virus from spreading, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said.

The statement didn’t say how many birds were killed by the virus, but increased deaths in the flock prompted testing at the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory. The results were confirmed by APHIS’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

H7N3 in Mexico

Also today, Mexico reported outbreaks of HPAI H7N3 avian flu in two backyard flocks in two southern states, Oaxaca and Puebla. Of 524 birds in the two flocks, 94 died and the rest were destroyed to stop further spread, officials told the OIE.

The report said the virus was identified as H7N3 on Mar 9 and that there is no known link between the two sites. The types of poultry in the two flocks were not identified.

In 2012 and 2013 Mexico was hit by dozens of H7N3 outbreaks that forced the culling of millions of birds in several states, including Puebla.

APRIL 8th

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Meeker County, Minnesota

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Meeker County, Minnesota.  This is the ninth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 310,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

 Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States.   APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world.  As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area; 2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s); 3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area; 4)  Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations; and 5) Test – confirming that the poultry farm is AI virus-free.  USDA also is working with its partners to actively look and test for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

 

APRIL 7th

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in 2nd Kandiyohi County, Minnesota

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a second commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. This is the eighth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota. The flock of 30,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States.   APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

Please view the USDA stakeholder announcements for information on detections of HPAI in Minnesota and the United States.

APRIL 6th

APRIL 3rd

More spread of the H5N2

H5N2 detected again in Minnesota, Montana

Virus hits backyard birds in Montana

Montana’s H5N2 outbreak occurred in a backyard mixed-poultry flock in Judith Basin County, located in the central part of the state, according to a separate statement from APHIS yesterday.

Samples taken after some of the birds died were tested at APHIS’s NVSL in Ames, which confirmed the H5N2 finding. APHIS said it is working with the Montana Department of Livestock on the response to the outbreak and that state authorities have quarantined the farm and will depopulate the flock.

The H5N2 detection is Montana’s second in the past few days. On Mar 31 officials announced that the virus had been found in a captive gyrfalcon in the northwestern part of the state.

The H5N2 strain, in addition to its presence in Minnesota and Montana, was responsible for a spate of other recent outbreaks, including commercial turkey farms in Missouri and Arkansas, a backyard flock in Kansas, and a wild bird in Wyoming.

The following updates were listed back to back on USDA/APHIS website.  Both released on April 2nd.  We are posting the entire article so it can be read without leaving the page:

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in 2nd Stearns County, Minnesota Commercial Turkey Flock

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a second commercial turkey flock in Stearns County, Minnesota.  This is the fifth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 71,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

USDA will include this information in routine updates to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and will notify international trading partners of this finding as appropriate.  OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

Additional background

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1–H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1–N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and can be further broken down into different strains. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity (low or high)— the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.

The HPAI H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway. In the Pacific flyway, the HPAI H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses. These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry. The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

USDA has identified two mixed-origin viruses in the Pacific Flyway: the HPAI H5N2 virus and new HPAI H5N1 virus. The new HPAI H5N1 virus is not the same virus as the HPAI H5N1 virus found in Asia, Europe and Africa that has caused some human illness. Only the HPAI H5N2 virus has been detected in the Pacific, Mississippi and Central Flyways.

Detailed analysis of the virus is underway in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For more information about the ongoing avian influenza disease incident visit the APHIS website. More information about avian influenza can be found on the USDA avian influenza page. More information about avian influenza and public health is available on the CDC website.

APRIL 2nd

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Nobles County, Minnesota Commercial Turkey Flock

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Nobles County, Minnesota.  This is the fourth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 21,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.   READ MORE…….

APRIL 2nd

Infected turkeys in South Dakota

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed HPAI H5N2 in a commercial flock of 53,000 turkeys in Beadle County in the east-central part of South Dakota, the agency said today.

The flock experienced “increased mortality,” APHIS said, but the number of dead poultry was not specified. The farm is located within the Central flyway. Last week a wild Canada goose tested positive for the virus in Wyoming, also along the Central flyway, and in mid-March a backyard flock of chickens and ducks in Kansas tested positive for H5N2, marking the first incursion of the Eurasian-lineage virus into the flyway.

Other H5N2 outbreaks occurred last month on turkey farms in Minnesota, Missouri, and Arkansas, which are along the Mississippi flyway. These were preceded by a number of H5N2 findings beginning in December in wild birds and backyard poultry flocks in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Samples from the South Dakota turkeys tested positive for HPAI H5N2 at the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.

State officials quarantined the farm, and birds on the property will be culled to prevent disease spread, APHIS said. The farm’s turkeys will not enter the food system. The South Dakota Department of Health is working with farm workers to ensure they take the proper precautions.

 

March 28th, 2015

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Stearns County, Minnesota Commercial Turkey Flock

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Stearns County, Minnesota.  This is the third confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 39,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.    READ MORE ……

 

 

March 27th, 2015

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Commercial Turkey Flock in Minnesota

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota.  This is the second confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota.  The flock of 66,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza was previously identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.   READ MORE………

March 26th, 2015

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Wild Bird in Wyoming

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2015 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a wild Canada goose in Laramie County, Wyoming.  This is the first finding of the Eurasian lineage avian influenza viruses in wild birds in the Central flyway. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

The sample, taken from a sick bird, was tested by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory and confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.  The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations. READ MORE….

March 24th, 2015

USDA to test avian flu vaccine; wild birds nixed as Minnesota H5N2 source

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to develop and test a vaccine for the highly pathogenic avian influenza strains that have surfaced in nine western and midwestern states in the past few months, Reuters reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, Minnesota wildlife officials have ruled out wild birds as a possible source of the H5N2 virus that devastated a Minnesota turkey flock earlier this month, after tests of wild birds in the area showed no signs of the virus.

HPAI H5N8 and H5N2 viruses were found in five western states starting in December, and this month the H5N2 strain struck turkey farms and backyard birds in Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas.

Reuters reported yesterday that the USDA is developing a poultry vaccine for the new strains and will test it on chickens within 2 months, in case it is needed to prevent widespread outbreaks. Mark Jackwood, PhD, MS, head of the University of Georgia’s Department of Population Health, told Reuters that use of a vaccine may be considered if avian flu “gets to the point where we cannot contain it.”

The USDA’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga., is working on the new vaccine, the story said. Director David Swayne, PhD, said the lab tested an existing avian flu vaccine and found it didn’t work very well. The story didn’t specify what strain that vaccine was made for.  Read more………..

March 16th, 2015

Kansas is latest state to face H5N2

A backyard flock of chickens and ducks in northeastern Kansas has been hit by highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, making Kansas the fourth state in the central United States, after Minnesota, Missouri, and Arkansas, to confront the virus.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Mar 13 the outbreak in Leavenworth County, Kan., which is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) said today that the flock was destroyed on Mar 14 to prevent any further spread of the virus.

Increased deaths in the backyard flock led to testing of the birds, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said in a statement, which did not specify the size of the flock. Testing was done by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Read more……..

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/03/kansas-latest-state-face-h5n2

http://agriculture.ks.gov/AllNewsItems/2015/03/16/kansas-department-of-agriculture-notified-of-confirmed-positive-case-of-avian-influenza

 

March 11th 2015 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Boone County,  Arkansas. The flock of 40,020 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  Additional information can be found here http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/sa_hpai_arkansas.pdf?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

March 9th, 2015

H5N2 Bird Flu Confirmed In Two Missouri Turkey Facilities

On March 9th Missouri agricultural officials have confirmed the presence of AI, or bird flu in a second turkey facility located in Fortuna, located at 35764 Newkirk Road.  The first confirmed, March 8th,  being in Jasper County at 30213 Thyme Road in Asbury.  http://agriculture.mo.gov/news/2015/MDA_confirms_avian_influenza_in_second_Missouri_facility

March 5th, 2015

Minnesota: H5N2 avian influenza found in Pope County turkey flock

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Pope County, Minnesota.  This is the first finding in the Mississippi flyway.  It is the same strain of avian influenza that has been confirmed in backyard and wild birds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho as part of the ongoing incident in the Pacific flyway.   http://outbreaknewstoday.com/minnesota-h5n2-avian-influenza-found-in-pope-county-turkey-flock-29475/

During December 15, 2014–January 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture received 14 reports of birds infected with Asian-origin, highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) viruses according to the CDC.

It is reported that the states in which Avian Influenza has been detected are 14 HPAI H5 detections, seven (H5N2), six (H5N8), and one (H5N1), occurred in five northwestern states (California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington). Outbreaks occurred in five domestic, backyard flocks, two captive wild birds, and seven wild aquatic birds. All backyard flocks were destroyed after identification of HPAI H5 virus. Of 24 persons reporting exposure to infected birds, one person developed influenza-like illness (ILI) after exposure but subsequently tested negative for influenza.

The cases documented above are the first reported infections with these viruses in U.S. wild or domestic birds.   According to the CDC these viruses are not known to have caused disease in humans, however, their appearance in North America might increase the likelihood of human infection in the United States. Human infection with other avian influenza viruses, such as HPAI (H5N1) and (H5N6) viruses and (H7N9) virus, has been associated with severe, sometimes fatal, disease, usually following contact with poultry.

What this means to you:

First and foremost practice GOOD biosecurity, visit this page to find out how.  http://thefancychick.com/blog/poultry-bio-security/

Poultry keepers need to be very vigilant with your poultry’s health.  Be aware of any changes in their appearance, and report any unexplained sick or dying birds to your local Veterinarian, USDA Veterinarian, Health Department or State NPIP tester for testing.

If you are not currently NPIP certified now is a good time to get tested.  One of the biggest concerns with AI is human exposure so it is a disease that should be reported if you suspect you may have sick birds.

As a general precaution, people should avoid wild birds and observe them only from a distance; avoid contact with domestic birds (poultry) that appear ill or have died; and avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds. People in contact with known infected or possibly infected birds should take precautions to protect against infection.

Symptoms and incubation period:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/AI_OIE_Symptoms_in_poultry_139912_7.pdf

 

Is poultry safe to eat:

To stay safe, according to USDA, the advice is the same for protecting against any infection from poultry:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
  • Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.

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We will update information as we get it.

Information on this page was obtained from various sources below:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/sa_hpai_arkansas.pdf?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/sa_hpai_minnesota.pdf

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