On the same day that New Mexico reported their first detection of HPAI H5 (in a wild duck), we also add Iowa to the rapidly expanding list of states reporting these rapidly spreading avian flu strains. As we’ve seen often over the past few weeks, the HPAI H5N2 virus has shown up in a commercial turkey farm, this time in the northwest quadrant of the state.
This from APHIS
Published: Apr 14, 2015
CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low
WASHINGTON, April 14, 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 Buena Vista County, Iowa. The flock of 27,000 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 Iowa State University 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 U.S. APHIS is working closely with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship 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.
Although all of the HPAI H5 detections thus far have taken place west of the Mississippi, the virus appears to be moving inexorably to the east – carried by migratory birds – and those states not yet affected are almost certainly already on alert.