The USDA confirms HPAI in two additional states, increasing surveillance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in birds in two additional states – a flock of commercial chickens in Fulton County, Kentucky, and a flock of birds from backyard. in Fauquier County, Virginia.

Last week was the first case confirmed in a commercial flock of turkeys in Dubois County, Indiana. This was the first case confirmed by HPAI in commercial birds in the United States in 2020.

APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in Kentucky and Virginia on joint responses to incidents. State officials have quarantined the affected areas, and the birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Depopulation is complete in Virginia. Herds of birds will not enter the food system. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these bird flu detections does not present an immediate public health problem. No human cases of these bird flu viruses have been detected in the United States. In addition, proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs at an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses.

As part of existing bird flu response plans, federal and state partners are working together on additional surveillance and testing in areas around affected populations. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and the USDA is working with its partners to actively search for the disease in commercial bird operations, live bird markets, and wild migratory bird populations.

Anyone involved in the production of poultry from small to large commercial producers should review their biosecurity activities to ensure the health of their birds. APHIS has biosecurity materials available, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit Here.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all poultry owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state / federal officials, either through the state veterinarian or toll-free. to APHIS 1-866. -536-7593. APHIS urges producers to consider bringing birds indoors when possible to prevent further exposure. The Animal Health Act authorizes APHIS to provide compensation payments to producers for birds and eggs to be depopulated during a disease response. APHIS also provides compensation for removal and virus removal activities. Additional biosecurity information for herds in the yard can be found online.

Avian flu (IA) is caused by a type A flu virus that can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quails, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free-flying waterfowl, such as ducks, geese and seabirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1 – H16) and neuraminidases or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1 – N9). ).

Samples from two Kentucky herds were tested at the Breathitt Veterinary Center Laboratory, and samples from the affected Virginia herd were tested at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Harrisonburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory. The cases in Virginia and Fulton County, Kentucky have been confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. Breathitt Veterinary Center’s lab has also obtained a non-negative test for bird flu on samples from a Webster County turkey herd, and confirmation of NVSL is pending.

All cases in commercial herds and in the yard will be listed on APHIS website.

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