McCracken County is located on the southern shore of the Ohio river, bordered to the north by Illinois and very near the Missouri line. It’s county seat is Paducah.
This marks the furthest east we’ve seen this HPAI virus reported in the United States. It is certainly not unreasonable to assume that these viruses may already be circulating in additional states that have not yet reported them.
This stakeholder’s statement is from APHIS.
CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low
WASHINGTON, April 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 two wild birds, a goose and a duck, in McCracken County, Kentucky. These birds were found 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 samples, taken from dead birds, were tested by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia and confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States. 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 the confirmation information in routine updates to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and specifically state that countries should not impose trade restrictions based on findings of HPAI in wild birds.
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.