Merced County - Credit Wikipedia
This news was telegraphed several hours ago when we saw the announcement that Hong Kong bans import of poultry meat and products from Merced County, California, US, but we now have an OIE notification with preliminary details of this low path H7N3 outbreak.
In it’s HPAI form, H7N3 has caused major losses and disruptions in the poultry industry, including in the 2005 Fraser Valley (B.C.) outbreak in 2004 that required the culling of 17 million birds, and Mexico’s prolonged running battle with the virus in 2012-13 (see Mexico Declares National H7N3 Animal Health Emergency).
Additionally, HPAI H7N3 has been associated with minor human illnesses (see MMWR: Mild H7N3 Infections In Two Poultry Workers - Jalisco, Mexico).
Low Path (LPAI) strains are viewed as being much less dangerous – and often only cause minor illness in birds – but need to be quickly contained because LPAI H7 and H5 viruses have the potential to evolve into HPAI strains.
Given the recent emphasis, and ramping up of poultry operations biosecurity for HPAI H5 viruses in California and most Western states, it will be interesting to see what the `comprehensive epidemiological investigation’ of this outbreak turns up.
Here is the OIE Notification.
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
- Unknown or inconclusive
The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this event. Epidemiological summary of the event as of 17 March 2015: • A commercial tom turkey flock exhibited coughing with a slight increase in mortality. Samples were submitted for laboratory testing and were confirmed positive for influenza A virus (IAV) H7N3 LPAI. • North American H7N3 LPAI based upon partial HA and NA sequence obtained directly from swab specimen; virus isolation pending. • The infected premises was placed under quarantine following preliminary findings and an epidemiological investigation was initiated. • Follow-up surveillance and testing on 10 epidemiologically associated farms was negative for IAV. The epidemiological investigation and response to the event are continuing.
- Movement control inside the country
- Vaccination prohibited
- No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
- No other measures