The new bird flu ritual, which began in earnest earlier this week, is waiting for the daily update from the USDA’s APHIS avian flu website, which tends to come in sometime after 5pm EDT. Today that update has been running considerably later than usual.
However, earlier today the state of Wisconsin announced a Second avian influenza detection found in Barron county commercial turkey facility, bringing the number of outbreaks in that state to 6, involving 1.2 million birds.
And in the past few minutes the state of Iowa released a statement regarding their third HPAI outbreak.
CASE OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA IN SAC COUNTY, IOWA
CDC considers the risk to people to be low
DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responding to a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Sac County, Iowa. The facility has 34,000 turkeys and is within the 10 kilometer monitoring zone surrounding the initial HPAI case in Buena Vista County. This is the third case of HPAI in Iowa.
The flock has experienced increased mortality and samples have been sent to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Preliminary results showed the birds positive for an H5 strain of avian influenza. Samples were then sent to the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa to further confirm the findings.
State officials quarantined the premise and birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
In the past couple of hours, amid media reports that a large chicken farm in Becker County has also been hit, we’ve seen Minnesota Governor Dayton sign an executive order declaring bird flu an emergency. As of this writing nothing has been posted on the Governor’s website, but the Minnesota Board of Animal Health has posted the following statement:
Executive Order activates Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan to respond to Avian Influenza
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today issued Emergency Executive Order 15-09, declaring a Peacetime State of Emergency in Minnesota in response to the discovery of H5N2 avian influenza cases statewide.
Under the Governor’s Executive Order:
• The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) will activate the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan to support the efforts of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, to coordinate response efforts across all agencies of state government.
• Supplementing Emergency Executive Order 15-06 extending relief to certain motor vehicle drivers and carries pertaining to hours of service, in addition to the previous exemption of weight restriction.
• And the Adjutant General of Minnesota will order to state active duty such personnel and equipment of the military forces of the State as required, and for such a period of time as necessary to provide assistance and emergency relief services.
While stating that Animal health officials are currently investigating possible additional cases of HPAI in Minnesota flocks, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health only lists two additional farms on their list tonight. Not included is the Becker county chicken farm mentioned above.
At approximately 6:30 EST APHIS updated their HPAI listing, but only included the two Minnesota outbreaks mentioned above. They still only show three outbreaks in Wisconsin – when the Wisconsin website is already reporting six, and they have no update on the Iowa outbreak.
Hopefully we’ll get caught up with those in tomorrow night’s update.
As has been advised by the CDC since late January (see CDC Interim Guidance On Antiviral Chemoprophylaxis For Persons With Exposure To Avian Flu) Minnesota is offering antivirals to poultry workers who have been exposed to these high path viruses.
So far, however, we’ve seen no evidence that the North American reassortant H5 viruses are able to infect humans, but these steps are recommended out of an abundance of caution.
This from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
MDH is monitoring the health of workers, who have had contact with infected poultry, and providing guidance on infection control, the use of personal protective equipment, and providing support for any other health-related aspects of response.
• People who had close, unprotected contact with infected flocks are recommended to receive an antiviral drug called Tamiflu.
• Workers are then contacted daily for 10 days and monitored for development of respiratory symptoms.
• As of today, MDH has completed follow-up contacts for 41 flocks.
• In total, 140 people had been involved in care of the 41 flocks and were interviewed and evaluated.
• MDH is currently monitoring 78 poultry personnel for potential symptoms of infection, such as development of an eye infection or respiratory symptoms.
• The MDH 10-day monitoring period has been completed for 62 people and 14 flocks; no infections with this virus were detected.
And so the bird flu beat goes on for another day . . . .