Continued detections in wild birds means spring migration will likely bring more cases.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

February 27, 2024

1 Min Read

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to make its presence known in the United States, USDA Chief Veterinarian Rosemary Sifford said this week. Over the last week, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed a commercial table egg laying operation of 20,300 birds and three turkey operations, impacting a total of 71,800 turkeys, tested positive in Dallas County, Missouri. The very first case of HPAI in the current outbreak, which began in February 2022, was also reported in West Virginia, although in a backyard flock.

Since the beginning of the current outbreak, Dr. Sifford said there have been very low rates of farm-to-farm transmission, with most of the surges associated with direct introductions from wild birds.

Dr. Sifford said there’s a lot of work happening on the virus and how it’s persisting in the wild birds. “Hopefully we’ll learn more from that work and be able to use that to inform our procedures.”

And while the number of wild bird detections are lower, they are still happening, “so as long as the migration comes back… I think we should be prepared for that as we move into the spring.”

Regarding 2024 outbreaks, the spring migration of wild birds means alert remains high for more cases, Dr. Sifford said.

APHIS materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit are available here.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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