On Monday, Wisconsin reported their first outbreak of HPAI H5N2 (see APHIS: Wisconsin Reports HPAI H5N2 In Commercial Chickens) in Jefferson County, which also marked the first big outbreak in commercial chickens in the United States.
Today, Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture is reporting outbreaks in farms in two more counties (see map) – one in a backyard flock and the other in a commercial turkey farm.
None of the three affected counties are immediately adjacent to one another, illustrating just how agile these HPAI H5 viruses have been as they’ve hop-scotched across the western United States.
April 16, 2015
MADISON, Wisc.—The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture is responding to the detection of avian influenza in an additional two poultry flocks in Wisconsin. There are now three cases in Wisconsin. These flocks are within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. While lethal to domestic poultry, the strain of virus detected is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health or the food supply.
The affected flocks are in:
- Juneau County—40 mixed breed birds in a backyard flock
- Barron County—126,000 turkeys in a commercial turkey flock
The properties were immediately quarantined and neighboring properties with poultry will be notified about the situation. Remaining birds will be depopulated and will not enter the food supply. Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facility to ensure the virus has not spread.
The H5 avian influenza virus was first detected in Wisconsin at a commercial chicken flock in Jefferson County on Monday, April 13, which will result in the depopulation of more than 180,000 egg-laying chickens. Multiple outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred most recently in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, the Dakotas and Kansas leading to the depopulation of more than 1 million turkeys and chickens since January.
Wisconsinites are reminded that the avian influenza virus strain currently detected in Wisconsin and the other states presents low risk to public health. Poultry meat and egg products in the marketplace remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.
Officials are investigating how the virus entered the flock and may not have answers for some time. Until then, backyard poultry owners and other poultry producers are encouraged to practice good biosecurity and to take steps that prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. They also should monitor their flock closely and report sick or dead birds to DATCP at 1-800-572-8981.