Credit MBAH Media Tool Kit
While Wisconsin has now gone three days without reporting a new outbreak, and the number of new presumptive outbreaks in Minnesota and Iowa have decreased in recent days, the avian flu outbreak in the upper Midwest continues to wreak havoc having claimed well over 26 million birds.
Although wild and migratory birds are still viewed as the likely conveyance of the virus across much of the western United States, increasingly questions are being asked regarding the role of `lateral transmission’ - the spread from farm to farm via other means – in its dispersal.
May 7, 2015 02:21 PM
Minnesota's state veterinarian suggested Wednesday that bird flu may be spreading from farm-to-farm in the state's top turkey-growing counties, a possibility they downplayed in the early days of the outbreak.
They said instead that they suspected the virus was being carried into the state by migratory waterfowl that would spread it via their droppings, then accidentally tracked into barns by farm workers or perhaps by rodents.
While there has been no lack of theories regarding how the avian influenza virus has spread so rapidly amid what has been purported to be extremely heightened biosecurity measures, so far we’ve not seen definitive answers.
Frankly, it would not be surprising to find that a variety of factors – ranging from birds migratory birds to human activity – have played a role in its spread.
We’ve two updates this afternoon, first this one from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 07, 2015
ST PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to coordinate the state’s ongoing response to avian influenza. HSEM will coordinate resource needs with several state agencies including the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Additional HPAI cases in Minnesota
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today announced two presumptive positive flocks. The following Minnesota counties are affected:
- Kandiyohi – 32nd detection (turkeys, flock size information coming soon)
- Swift – 6th detection (turkeys, flock size information coming soon)
Total number of affected farms – 84
Total number of counties – 21
And this report from Iowa’s Department of Agriculture.
CDC considers the risk to people to be low
DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responding to two probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms in Osceola and Cherokee counties. These two new cases would join 35 cases of the disease in Iowa that were previously announced. State officials have quarantined the premises and once the presence of the disease is confirmed, all birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
Osceola 3 – A layer pullet farm with an estimated 100,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.
Cherokee 4 – Turkey farm that has experienced increased mortality. An estimate on the number of birds at the site is still pending. Initial testing showed it positive for H5 avian influenza. Additional confirmatory testing is pending from the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames.
As the Department receives final confirmations of the disease updated information will be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health 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 ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.