Not quite two weeks after their first farm was struck in Dickey County, today the North Dakota Department of Agriculture has announced a second farm in adjacent LaMoure County as been hit by a highly pathogenic H5 virus. Final sub typing is pending, but the expectation is that this will turn out to be HPAI H5N2.
Submitted April 24, 2015
BISMARCK, N.D. – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in LaMoure County, North Dakota. The premises contained approximately 69,000 turkeys and also about 2,000 chickens. A presumptive positive case was first identified by the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. This is the second case confirmed in North Dakota. A response team has been working with a Dickey County poultry farm since the first case was confirmed earlier this month.
The State Board of Animal Health and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture are working closely with USDA-APHIS and local officials in the LaMoure County response. The premises has been quarantined and the flock will be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. Domestic birds in a 6-mile control zone around the affected farm will be monitored and tested; and movement is being restricted to help prevent the spread of HPAI. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
There is no immediate public health concern due to this finding. The risk to people from HPAI is low despite the disease often being fatal for birds. No human infections with these viruses have been detected in the U.S.
“We have activated the avian influenza response plan that has been in place for some time,” said North Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller. “It is a collaborative effort with help from federal and state agencies, local officials and poultry producers.”
The avian influenza response team is working around the clock to control the outbreak and serve as a resource to residents. In an emergency clause, the North Dakota legislature has allotted $300,000 of federal spending authority to respond to and combat avian influenza.
Due to the recent findings of HPAI in North Dakota and surrounding states, poultry owners should immediately report death loss to their local and state veterinarian, restrict access to their property, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and practice enhanced biosecurity.
Avian influenza exists in many wild birds and can be transmitted by contact with infected birds or ingestion of contaminated food and water.
As the number of HPAI cases continue to rise across the Midwest, scientists anticipate warmer temperatures will slow the spread of the disease. Typically, influenza viruses are hampered by warm, dry conditions.
We should get an update on other avian flu activity from the USDA’s APHIS website sometime after 5pm EST.