Category Archives: Influenza

CIDRAP — Egg farm hit in Nebraska’s first H5N2 event

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | May 12, 2015

Nebraska today joined the list of Midwestern states battling the H5N2 avian flu virus, with an outbreak on a large layer chicken farm, while neighboring Iowa reported four more avian flu outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms.

Nebraska incursion
The virus has struck a farm housing 1.7 million layer chickens in Dixon County in northeastern Nebraska, northwest of Sioux City, Iowa, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today. The area is not far from several northwestern Iowa counties that have been battling H5N2.

APHIS said increased deaths in the chicken flock prompted initial testing by the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmatory testing by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. As in other outbreaks, officials quarantined the farm and made plans to destroy the surviving chickens as a precaution.

At the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), Director Greg Ibach said in a statement, “Unfortunately, Nebraska has joined a long list of states currently dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza. We are working closely with our counterparts at USDA APHIS, as well as all of our Nebraska state agency partners to ensure we are following proper protocols to address this situation. The goal is to quarantine the flock and attempt to control and contain the virus as quickly as possible.”
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USDA — Transcript: USDA and CDC Update to Media on Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza Outbreaks

Moderator: Rodney Bain

April 22, 2015

11:00 am EDT

Coordinator: Good day and welcome to today’s live broadcast from the USDA Radio Studios in Washington D.C. featuring USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. John Clifford, as well as Dr. Alicia Fry of the Centers for Disease Control, and Dr. David Swayne of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory also with USDA.

Reporters and members of the media wishing to ask a question of our guests after the opening remarks, you can do so, please press star 1 on your telephone touchtone pad. It’s now my pleasure to introduce USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. John Clifford.

Dr. John Clifford: Thank you very much. And thanks everyone for being on the call today. As you all know we’ve been dealing with the Avian Influenza, Highly Pathogenic AI. And we refer to it as High Path AI because frankly it kills turkeys and chickens.

So one of the things we’d like to tell you all today is that we’ve had very good success in being able to address these things once we’ve been able to find and locate these outbreak situations. So that we’ve been able to contain a lateral spread from these types of locations as well.

One of the challenging things that we have is though because of the contamination – environmental contamination of this virus from wild water fowl it presents a lot of unique challenges to us with regard to this. But the U.S. has one of the best in the world surveillance systems for High Path AI and for Low Path AI for that matter. And as a result we’ve been able to get very good cooperation from the states and the industry to be able to find these locations very quickly and be able to respond.

And I would definitely as a part of this wanted to thank all the support that we’ve gotten from our state animal health officials, as well as from the poultry industry and producers themselves. I know this can be very devastating to them but they’ve been very cooperative and it’s been a good relationship together.

And I also wanted to thank the support we’ve gotten from our guests here today as well; from Dr. Alicia Fry and the work of CDC with this, as well as Dr. David Swayne who is the Director of the USDA’s Southeastern Poultry Lab.

So with that I’d like to next turn it over to Dr. Alicia Fry to make some opening comments.

Dr. Alicia Fry: Good morning. Thank you for having me on today to discuss the human health implications of current domestic outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic H5 viruses in U.S. birds and poultry.

First let me start by saying that the Avian H5 viruses that have been found in U.S. wild birds and commercial poultry are different from the ones that we’ve been following around the world for several years now. These specific viruses have not caused infections in people anywhere in the world. CDC considers that the risk to the general public from these outbreaks to be low at this time.

That said, human infections with similar avian influenza viruses have occurred and it is possible that we may see human infections with the viruses associated with recent U.S. bird flu outbreaks. Most human infections with avian influenza viruses have occurred in people with direct or close and prolonged contact with infected birds.

While we are cautiously optimistic that there will not be human cases, we must be prepared for that possibility and we are taking routine preparedness steps, including studying these viruses further and creating candidate vaccine viruses which could be used to make a vaccine for people if one were needed. Again, these are routine public health preparedness measures.

So far genetic analysis has not shown any of the markers that are known to be associated with increased severity of illness in people or an increased ability to be spread to people or spread among people — and that’s good news. But preparedness and protecting public health is our continued goal.

CDC is working closely with state and local health departments and our colleagues at USDA to minimize public health risk from these bird flu outbreaks. People in contact with known infected or possibly infected birds should take precautions to protect against infection. USDA has excellent public education resources on their Web site for poultry workers, hunters and bird enthusiasts.

For the general public; avoid wild birds and observe them only from a distance, avoid contact with domestic birds or poultry that appear ill or have died, and avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from wild or domestic birds. CDC has issued public health guidance for High Path AI H5 testing and preventative medication of people exposed to these viruses.

People who have had contact with infected birds should monitor their own health for possible symptoms, for example flu-like symptoms or conjunctivitis. People who have had contact with infected birds may also be given influenza antiviral drugs preventatively.

CDC has put up a Web site with information on Avian Influenza and with links to all our domestic H5 guidance documents. We are monitoring the situation closely. This is an evolving public health situation and information may change as time goes on and we will provide updated information as it becomes available.

The address for the CDC Web site is And questions from the public can be directed to 800-CDC-INFO or 800-232-4636. Thank you.

Dr. John Clifford: Thank you Dr. Fry. And now I’d like to turn it to Dr. David Swayne to make some opening comments. David?

Dr. David Swayne: Thank you Dr. Clifford. I represent the Southeast Poultry Research Lab which is USDA’s agricultural research service in-house lab that conducts research on Avian Influenza. And we provide this research support not only to USDA APHIS, the regulatory agency for Disease Control, but also we provide research data to the states that may be affected, as well as the U.S. poultry industries.

Currently our research has been focused on developing specific molecular tests to detect this new strain of H5 High Path Avian Influenza. And we have made our test development and validation, have transferred that to our national Vet Services laboratories and on to the State Laboratory Diagnostic Network System. Now we’ve also developed a molecular test to detect the innate type of the virus, and that also has been transferred.

We have several ongoing studies that examine the different outbreak viruses to determine how they are transmitted from bird to bird, as well as which species of poultry, or potentially wild birds, can be affected by these viruses and what the potential outcomes are.

We also have, as part of our research portfolio, vaccine development which is a routine process for us. Now this type of research we do with all High Path AI viruses from around the world, which is part of our mandate, not only as a USDA lab, but also as a world organization for animal health collaborating center on research for emerging avian diseases.

Now I’ll pass it back to you Dr. Clifford.

Dr. John Clifford: Thank you Dr. Swayne.

Coordinator: And thank you. And we are open for questions, so reporters and members of the media this reminder, if you do have a question for any of our guests, Dr. John Clifford, USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Alicia Fry from the Centers for Disease Control, or Dr. David Swayne of USDA’s Southeast Poultry Research Lab, then press star 1 on your telephone touchtone pad.

And we will go to the phone lines. Our first call today belongs to Blake McCoy of KARE. Blake, good day.

Blake McCoy: Hi. I understand the USDA is working on a potential vaccine for this current strain of the virus. Where does that stand?

Dr. John Clifford: I think, Dr. Swayne do you want to respond to that please?

Dr. David Swayne: Yes. I mean our laboratory, which does the original vaccine development work, we are working on a potential vaccine strain that can be used as an inactivated vaccine. And we’re making progress on that. It’s a multi-step process that involves completion of one step, evaluating the information, then going back to additional steps.

So at this point we have a potential seed strain. But once we complete our work, which will include testing in chickens and turkeys, the decision to use that vaccine will only be made if it’s necessary in the regulatory process of the eradication.

So our work is only on the front end just to say, “Do we have available tools like vaccines to be used,” but the process of using vaccines will only be decided by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service in consultation with the state labs.

Coordinator: We now go back to the phone lines. Our next call belongs to P.J. Huffstutter of Reuters News. P.J., good morning.

P.J. Huffstutter: Hi, good morning. This message is actually for Dr. Fry. I just had a quick question with regards to the scale of the outbreak. Is the – given that the outbreak has definitely been spreading at this point, is there any indication that we may be more likely to see the potential for a human infection just because there’s been the potential for more people exposed to the virus or no?

Dr. Alicia Fry: Well right now from everything we know it seems like the risk for human infection is very low. But you’re right, we’re really at the beginning of this and so we’re monitoring very closely. And we’re cautiously optimistic that we will not see any human cases, but there certainly is a possibility that we may.

Coordinator: USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer is with us here in the USDA Radio Studios, joining us on the phone lines Dr. Alicia Fry of the Centers of Disease Control and Dr. David Swayne of the Southeast Poultry Research Lab, and of course you in the listening audience. And reporters and members of the media, if you have a question for any of our guests please press star 1 on your telephone touchtone pad.

We go back to the phone lines. Our next call belongs to Steve Karnowski of the Associated Press. Steve, good morning.

Steve Karnowski: Good morning. Yes, this is for Dr. Fry. You had talked a little bit, and did I understand you correctly that as a precaution you have begun some preliminary work in case it becomes necessary to develop a human vaccine for this. Could you elaborate on that?

Dr. Alicia Fry: Well this is something that we do with any new influenza virus; we actually prepare seed vaccine viruses. We look for candidate vaccine viruses. We haven’t made any – we haven’t decided if we need to move to the next step. But for every new virus we actually pull it into CDC and we start to create candidate vaccine viruses.

We haven’t gotten further than that at this point because we don’t have a need to go further than that. But this is what we do. We have a large library of candidate vaccine viruses for different new avian influenza viruses that are detected around the world. And this is one of the reasons why we do surveillance so that we have these candidate viruses available.

Coordinator: Our next question belongs to (Mark Steele) of Minnesota Public Radio News. (Mark), good morning.

(Mark Steele): Good morning. I’m just wondering, on the USDA Web site the last test that showed the virus in a wild bird was over a month ago and I’m just wondering what you make of that? Is that raising concern or possibly any alternate theories on how the disease is being spread?

Dr. John Clifford: This is Dr. Clifford. Basically it doesn’t really concern us from the standpoint of just finding the virus in a wild bird a month ago. We know that the virus exists in the wild bird population, the wild water fowl. So I think you still have to be very diligent in your biosecurity and making sure that you have the possibility of having virus contamination within the environment. And you take all those precautions based on that.

As far as the way the virus is getting into the facilities itself, we’re looking at a multitude of possibilities with regard to that. We know that we’ve had very good biosecurity in the past to prevent introductions of High Path AI into our poultry operations but we’re reviewing all of those. And as we review them, I know that the industry, if we find gaps, the industry is taking those very, very seriously and implementing new ways to address those gaps as soon as possible.
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JAVMAnews — Avian influenza infections could continue in fall, next spring

Posted May 13, 2015

The highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza viruses now in U.S. poultry flocks could have continued effects during the next year of wild bird migrations.

Nearly 16 million birds were expected to be killed or depopulated so far because of flock infections with an H5N2 influenza virus strain that had spread to at least 13 states as of April 29. Another highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, an H5N8 strain, had spread to a few Western U.S. commercial flocks containing about 250,000 birds.

Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the Department of Agriculture, said the H5 avian influenza viruses have become adapted to wild waterfowl and may cause outbreaks in fall 2015 and spring 2016. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is studying pathways the viruses can use to enter poultry barns and is working with industry to mitigate risk over the summer.

The avian influenza viruses affected a greater number of chickens than turkeys, although far more turkey farms than chicken farms had infections.
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CIDRAP — Signs of airborne H5N2 found; Iowa reports more outbreaks

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | May 08, 201
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Air sampling findings
Montse Torremorell, DVM, PhD, of the University of Minnesota said she and three colleagues did a pilot air sampling study at three Minnesota farms with infected poultry.

“Our results indicated that influenza genetic material can be detected in air samples collected inside and immediately outside of infected poultry facilities. We still don’t know whether virus was viable or not, and those analyses are in progress,” said Torremorell, who holds the Allen D. Leman Chair in swine health and productivity.

“So far we have shown that HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] can be aerosolized from infected facilities,” she added. “However, the implications of these findings in terms of understanding the transmission of HPAI between flocks needs further investigation.” The study focused on a total of four poultry barns on the three farms.

Torremorell said the study was commissioned by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The agency’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, are testing the samples to see if they contain any viable virus particles.

Other participants in the study are Peter Davies, BVSc, PhD, Peter Raynor, PhD, and Carmen Alonso, DVM, all with the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Torremorell said.
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Another pause in Minnesota
In other developments, Minnesota officials reported no new H5N2 outbreaks today, suggesting that the virus’s spread may be slowing. From Apr 15 through May 5 the state reported new H5N2 findings every day. That streak finally ended 2 days ago (May 6), but yesterday two outbreaks were reported.

State officials also said today that they have finished testing all 3,138 fecal samples collected this spring from wild waterfowl, with no H5N2 findings. About half of the samples came from near the infected farms, and the rest were control samples from wildlife areas around the state, according to today’s update from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
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International Business Times — Bird Flu Outbreak 2015: Deadly Virus’ Spread Sparks Questions On Biosecurity, Strict Sanitation Protocols At Poultry Farms

By Elizabeth Whitman on May 07 2015 1:06 PM EDT

Every spring, a wide swath of sky over the Midwest known as the Mississippi flyway becomes a highway for millions of birds heading north after spending winter months in the warmth of Central and South America. But this year, this mass migration over central states in the U.S., including Iowa and Minnesota, has caused significant problems for bird farmers in its path. Some of the migrating ducks and geese are carrying a deadly flu and their droppings are somehow sickening millions of turkeys and chickens being raised in commercial birdhouses for food.

So far, roughly 25 million turkeys and chickens have died or been euthanized in the bird flu outbreak, the largest in U.S. history. The crisis has prompted poultry farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and surrounding states to embrace heightened biosecurity — a set of tight sanitation measures that range from changing clothing before entering birdhouses to cleaning vehicles driven onto farms — to prevent droppings from wild birds, or any other germs, from being tracked into poultry houses. Yet birds have continued to fall sick, with flocks totaling more than 2 million turkeys and chickens reported infected Monday and five more farms suspected of having the virus on Wednesday.

That has left government officials, farmers and researchers alike grasping for answers as to how the flu has continued to infiltrate birdhouses. The deadly outbreak does not affect humans or food produced by the farms, but could eventually cause food prices to jump.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which coordinates with states in responding to the outbreak and also conducts research on bird flu, has no clear answers so far as to why the virus is spreading. “We cannot say definitely how specific poultry operations are becoming infected at this point,” Ed Curlett, a spokesman for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the Department of Agriculture, said in an email. “We are examining affected poultry operations in order to learn more about how they are becoming infected and have yet to come to conclusions.” He added, “Sound biosecurity practices are essential to keep operations from becoming infected.”
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KARE — Avian flu forensic mystery in Minnesota

Trisha Volpe, KARE 10:12 a.m. EDT May 8, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS – Turkeys are an $800 million business in Minnesota, but a quickly spreading strain of avian flu has put the industry in crisis mode, as scientists work to understand the mysterious disease.

Experts say the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza that has killed millions of turkeys and chickens this spring is a mixture of a virus from Europe/Asia and another from North America, creating a kind of super bug that is likely to be around for several years.

“Hopefully we can all put our heads together and figure this thing out,” said Paul Young, a wildlife disease biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Scientists, who are also detectives, are collecting and analyzing evidence, trying to understand what brought the virus to Minnesota and why it’s spreading so fast.

Kandiyohi County has been ground zero for the outbreak, where more farms have been affected here than anywhere.

Researchers know migrating birds, like ducks and geese, still flying back to Minnesota naturally carry the virus. It doesn’t seem to affect them, but can remain in what those birds leave behind – their droppings.

The DNR and the USDA have been collecting thousands of what they call ‘environmental’ samples from areas where ducks have landed, primarily near water.

“When a duck is on land and it poops and other ducks are stepping in the poop and eating around this fecal material, then it’s spread from bird to bird,” Hildebrand said.

What if ducks dropped the virus on a farm during a flyby or is the answer blowing in the wind?

One theory experts have discussed is whether avian flu in duck droppings may have spread by air because of high winds. They also believe there is more than one pathway the virus is using to get into farms and that the introduction of the virus has been point introduction not the result of a spread from farm to farm.

So might the duck be an innocent bystander?

A recent finding by wildlife pathologists in Madison, Wisconsin may have sent the case in a totally different direction.

“Lots of things surprises me about this virus,” said wildlife virologist Hon Ip, who studies animal viruses at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center – the CDC for wild animals. At a lab in Madison, scientists identify, track and help prevent infectious disease from spreading.

Pathologists have been dissecting dead birds sent from Minnesota, testing them – along with wild turkey samples – for avian flu.

“We need to know how the virus is truly spreading. Is it just by migratory birds,” Ip said.

And scientists at the National Wildlife Health Center did find the flu – not in a duck – but in a Cooper’s hawk from Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. The hawk, researchers believe, must have eaten an infected bird.

The problem is the Cooper’s hawk doesn’t each ducks. Scientists wonder if they should be looking at a different species of bird – not just ducks – as a potential carrier of avian influenza.
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Click HERE for the complete article and KARE video.

CIDRAP — Change in pattern of H5N2 spread raises questions

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | May 07, 2015

Poultry experts and industry officials say the H5N2 avian flu virus is changing its transmission pattern, hitting multiple neighboring farms instead of widely separated ones, and in the process raising questions about possible airborne spread and even changes in the virus itself.

Meanwhile, Minnesota reported two more turkey-farm H5N2 outbreaks today, while Iowa reported H5 outbreaks on one chicken farm and one turkey farm.

Possible farm-to-farm spread
In the early days of the H5N2 crisis, which began in Minnesota in early March, the virus struck widely separated farms in a seemingly random pattern. And in most cases in Minnesota, only one barn on each farm was affected. The conventional theory was that wild birds had brought the virus to the Midwest and that it was getting into poultry barns via wild-bird feces clinging to workers or equipment.

But now some counties have many infected farms, meaning the outbreaks are close together. Exhibit A is Kandiyohi County, the state’s top turkey producer, where 32 farms have been hit. Others are Stearns County, with 14 outbreaks, and Meeker County, with 8.

This has prompted talk of lateral spread of the virus from farm to farm. For example, on a conference call with reporters yesterday, Minnesota State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann, DVM, MS, commented, “Some poultry veterinarians have mentioned that it could be spreading from farm to farm through the air.”

“This idea of lateral spread is one theory, it has not been confirmed,” he added. His comments were included in a summary of the call provided by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH).

Carol Cardona, DVM, PhD, an avian health expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, said the results of epidemiologic investigations have not yet been divulged, but she assumes the speculation about lateral spread of the virus “is based on the fact that there are clusters of farms now starting to appear and the virus appears to have changed, so that now multiple barns are infected all at same time.”

“Previously it didn’t even spread to the next barn, so it wasn’t spreading from farm to farm,” she said. “Now it seems to have done that. . . . Multiple barns become infected at the same time.”

Has virus changed?
She suggested that the change in transmission pattern may mean that the virus has mutated in some way. “Influenza mutates with every host it infects,” she said. “When it passages through wild birds or through domestic poultry, it will change. That’s a given.”

A similar view was voiced by an egg company executive in Wisconsin, according to a May 5 story in the Chippewa Herald, a newspaper in Chippewa Falls, Wis. John Brunquell, president of Egg Innovations, Port Washington, Wis., which owns 60 farms, said, “We believe all these infections you’re hearing about now are from facility to facility” and that migratory waterfowl are no longer the main vehicle for the virus.

He added that the theory gaining the most support is that the virus has mutated so that it can stay active on feathers, dust, or manure long enough to reach a poultry barn by air after it’s blown out of another nearby facility’s exhaust system, according to the story.

Another infectious disease expert, Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said the changing transmission picture doesn’t necessarily mean the virus has mutated. He is director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News.

“There’s been evidence of transmission like this before, in the Netherlands, so I’m not sure this necessarily means that,” he said. “It could, but we need the isolates tested to find this out. It could be just acting like any other highly pathogenic [avian flu] virus we see, with wind-driven virus transmission. It just hasn’t been stopped by the current level of biosecurity.”

He said wind-driven transmission is “surely a possibility,” but so far its role is unknown. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials have mentioned the possibility of H5N2 being carried into poultry houses by windborne feathers or dust.

Possibly lending credence to that theory is a study yesterday in PLoS One. A Dutch research team reported they found avian flu viruses via air sampling in and near barns housing poultry that were infected with several different low-pathogenic avian flu viruses: H7N7, H9N2, H5N2, and H10N9.

The team used filters to take airborne dust samples inside, upwind, and downwind of the poultry barns, then used reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to detect viruses in the samples. The researchers didn’t, however, isolate viable viruses from the environmental samples.

There has been some talk of an air sampling study in Minnesota, but it wasn’t clear today if any such study has been launched.

Osterholm said the University of Minnesota, the USDA, and a large poultry company are collaborating on a big case-control study to try to shed more light on the epidemiology of H5N2. He called it an “exhaustive review” that compares affected and unaffected farms.

“It’s by far the most comprehensive case-control study I know of that’s ever been done on poultry outbreaks,” he said. He was unsure when the findings would be released.
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Click HERE for the complete article.

CIDRAP — Avian Flu Scan for May 04, 2015

H7N9 case in China; H5N1, H7N9 pandemic threat assessment; H6 serologic findings

H7N9 infects Jiangxi province woman
China’s Jiangxi province on May 1 announced a new H7N9 avian influenza case, involving a 39-year old woman from Jiujiang who is hospitalized in critical condition, according to a provincial health department statement translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.

Jiangxi province is in southeastern China and borders other provinces that have reported several cases since the virus first emerged in 2013. The province reported its most recent previous case in late February.

The woman’s illness is the first H7N9 case to be reported in May and boosts the global total from the disease to 659, according to a running case list kept by FluTrackers.
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Click HERE for the complete article.

CIDRAP — Three Midwest states report 14 more H5N2 outbreaks

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | May 04, 2015

Officials in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin today reported a total of 14 more confirmed or probable H5N2 avian flu outbreaks on turkey and chicken farms, undermining hopes that warm spring weather would slow the virus’s spread.

Minnesota reported eight outbreaks, including two in previously untouched counties and one on a farm housing more than 1 million chickens. Iowa, the nation’s leader in egg production, revealed four probable outbreaks, three of them on turkey farms, while Wisconsin had two.

Agriculture officials have been saying that warmer weather with the advancing spring should slow the H5N2 virus, which does not survive as well in warm conditions. But so far the pathogen seems to be defying such expectations.
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For Immediate Release
Monday, May 4, 2015

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)

CDC considers the risk to people to be low

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responding to four probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms in Buena Vista, Cherokee and Wright counties. These four new cases would join 21 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.

Buena Vista 7 – 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.

Cherokee 2 – 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.

Wright – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 2.8 million 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.

Buena Vista 8 – 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

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.
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Click HERE for the complete press release.