U.S., Canada confirm additional H5N2 cases

Turkey flocks in Minnesota and chicken flocks in Iowa and Ontario confirmed with avian flu virus.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed April 20 the presence of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in additional three flocks in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed HPAI H5N2 in the following states and counties: Juneau County, Wis. (33 mixed poultry); Kandiyohi County, Minn. (23,000 turkeys — sixth detection in this county), and Osceola County, Iowa (5.3 million chickens).

USDA noted that a seventh premises in Kandiyohi County with 9,000 turkeys was depopulated because of exposure to the sixth flock of 23,000 turkeys).

The affected premises have been quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship noted that the Osceola operation was a commercial laying hen facility. The case is the second in Iowa and the second flock of laying hens affected in the U.S.

Southern Ontario

Meanwhile, preliminary testing by the province of Ontario has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a second farm in Oxford County, Ont. The farm is a broiler breeder chicken farm.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the farm under quarantine to control disease spread and the poultry industry has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices. Further testing by the CFIA is underway to confirm pathogenicity and to determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on April 17 at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph, after the chicken farm experienced sudden deaths of birds over several days.

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely destroyed and disposed of, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines.

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