Saturday, April 11, 2015

H5N2 Confirmed In North Dakota, 2 More Counties In South Dakota


# 9929


Although likely present in wild birds in more states (and provinces) than the map above suggests, over the past few months HPAI H5 has been detected in at least two Canadian Provinces and 13 states, with North Dakota being the most recently announced region.


Yesterday the North Dakota Board of Animal Health indicated that H5 had been detected at a turkey farm in Dickey County.


Avian influenza presumed in Dickey County turkey flock

Submitted April 10, 2015

BISMARCK – The State Board of Animal Health was notified today (April 9, 2015) that samples from a commercial turkey flock in Dickey County tested by the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab are presumed positive for H5 avian influenza after the flock owner reported increased mortality. Samples have been sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories located in Ames, Iowa for confirmation. If confirmed, this will be the first case of H5 avian influenza in North Dakota.

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Overnight multiple news agencies have reported the results are back from Ames, Iowa and they are positive for HPAI H5N2. This from the AP.


1st Case of Deadly Bird Flu Confirmed in North Dakota

ELLENDALE, N.D. — Apr 10, 2015, 9:00 PM ET

State officials say the first case of a deadly bird flu has been confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in southeastern North Dakota.

State Veterinarian Susan Keller says the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa confirmed the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in the flock of 40,000 turkeys in Dickey County, which borders South Dakota.

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The use of the word `deadly’ in the headline above refers to  the virus’s impact on poultry, not on humans.   While related to HPAI H5 viruses that have caused human infection, the North American reassorted versions of HPAI H5 have not produced illness in humans.

Influenza viruses are constantly evolving, however, and it cannot be guaranteed that the behavior of these viruses won’t change over time.


Meanwhile two more counties in South Dakota are reporting outbreaks in farmed turkeys. 


This stakeholder announcement comes from APHIS.

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H5N2 in Two Counties in South Dakota

Last Modified: Apr 10, 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 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 an additional two commercial turkey flocks in South Dakota, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in that State to four.  These flocks are within the Central 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:

  • McCook County – 53,000 turkeys
  • McPherson County –  46,000 turkeys

Samples from the turkey flocks, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) 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 South Dakota 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.

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carrol jewell said...

Were the turkeys at the farm inoculate for this flu virus if not they should of been. All birds now are dying in Dakota what is wrong with them if the turkeys were not taken care of for diseases?

Michael Coston said...


Unlike in some Asian and Middle Eastern nations, poultry are not routinely vaccinated against HPAI viruses in the US, Canada or Europe.

Instead, our policy has been rapid containment and culling.

Poultry vaccines often can hide infections, but not prevent them, causing these viruses to spread silently.

And as we've seen in China and Egypt, that can lead to new strains emerging. Which in turn, render these vaccines even more ineffective.

The OIE has long warned against the prolonged over reliance on poultry vaccines, and has insisted that counties that use them have `an exit strategy'.

Unfortunately, counties like China, Egypt, and Vietnam seem no closer to `exiting' than they were a decade ago.

While it is possible we may eventually adopt the use of HPAI poultry vaccines in this country, it can be a slippery slope, and one we need to carefully consider before embarking upon.