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USDA confirms high-path H5N2 in Wisconsin layer flock

High-path H5N2 found in commercial layer flock in Jefferson County, Wis. -- the first in Wisconsin and the first in a layer flock.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed April 13 the presence of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Jefferson County, Wis.

The flock of 200,000 chickens is the first commercial scale layer chicken operation to succumb to the virus that has proven highly fatal to turkeys.

Samples from the chicken flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Missouri Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings.

APHIS is working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection on a joint incident response. State officials 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 Wisconsin Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165°F kills bacteria and viruses.

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