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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:55 am 
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Again bird flu infection Canada

Langley - In Canada, another company affected by the H5N2 virus. It is a broiler grower in Langley, British Columbia. The 11,800 animals will be culled on the farm.
Again bird flu infection Canada
It is the eleventh Canadian poultry when the virus is found. All companies where H5N2 has been found lying in the Fraser Valley, an area close poultry in southwestern Canada, near the border with the United States. Here the H5N2 virus was found last week in a wild gyrfalcon, after the US tightened controls because of the recent bird flu outbreaks in the neighboring country. It was also found in the same study the H5N8 virus in a wild duck, the same type as the bird flu virus that Europe retains its spell.

Studies in wild birds in Canada are found so far no traces of bird flu yet. However, American experts are worried that North American companies will also become infected, as wild birds will pull in the winter, reports the Langley Times.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Authority contains the H5N2 virus that British Columbia plaguing gene segments which correspond to those of the Eurasian H5N8 virus, including the H5 gene, and it contains in addition, segments which are typical North American viruses, including the N2 gene.



See the map of Farm for all outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2014 worldwide.
by KIRSTEN GRAUMANS Dec 19, 2014

http://www.boerderij.nl/Pluimveehouderi ... -1669612W/

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:37 pm 
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B.C. avian flu virus has Asian origin; first such outbreak in North America

By James Keller, The Canadian Press December 19, 2014 2:07 PM

VANCOUVER - The avian flu virus involved in an outbreak in B.C. is related to a deadly strain that has spread through Asia and is now affecting North American poultry for the first time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.

Experts say the presence of an avian flu virus with Asian lineage does not increase the danger to humans - which remains very low - but it could pose a significant risk to the poultry industry.

Nearly 250,000 chickens and turkeys are either dead or set to be euthanized due to avian flu, which has infected 11 sites in B.C.'s Fraser Valley since the beginning of the month.

Officials have already identified the subtype as a highly pathogenic, or high-path, strain of H5N2. Viruses with high pathogenicity kill birds, while their low-path counterparts typically do not.

The agency said tests have determined the virus contains genes both from H5N2, which is common to North American wild birds, as well as genes from a high-path Eurasian strain of H5N8. It keeps the label of H5N2 because its N gene is from H5N2.

"This is the first time a Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America,'' it said in a statement.

"The appearance of this particular re-assortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry.''

The agency has yet to determine the source of the outbreak or how it is spreading. The statement noted it has not yet been detected in wild birds in Canada.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed two wild birds in Washington state tested positive for avian flu - one with H5N2 and another with H5N8. It's not clear whether those cases are connected in any way to the B.C. outbreak.

Earl Brown, a University of Ottawa microbiologist who is an expert in the influenza virus, said a virus with Asian roots could be significant if it sustains itself in wild birds.

Brown said that in North America, avian flu typically infects farmed poultry in its low-path form, which often does not have a significant impact on operations. The virus can evolve into a high-path variety, but that doesn't always happen and it's a long process.

He said that doesn't appear to be what happened in the current outbreak.

"If you get bird flu into a poultry barn right now, most of the time you can get away with it because the virus won't adapt and won't evolve to high virulence,'' Brown said in an interview Friday.

"But if you have high-path in your wild birds, then every time there is a slip through biosecurity it will be seen as a big event of mortality. It really hinges on whether this virus stays behind in the wild birds.''

High-path H5N8 has been responsible for recent outbreaks in Asia and Europe, including in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

There have not been any cases of H5N8 transmitting to humans.


Hundreds of people, primarily in East Asia and the Middle East, have been infected with H5N1, with more than half of them dying, while there has been one reported case of a human H5N6 infection.

Brian Ward, a microbiology professor at McGill University in Montreal, said the link to Asian influenza does not increase the risk to people in B.C.

"The fact that it's highly pathogenic is a big deal for birds,'' Ward said. ``Human infection is very rare, and more importantly, from a pandemic point of view, human-to-human transmission is extremely unlikely.''

The current outbreak began about three weeks ago, when officials from B.C.'s Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza on a turkey farm and a chicken farm.

The virus has now infected 11 sites in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley. The latest, a chicken farm in Langley, was confirmed on Wednesday.

The most serious avian flu outbreak in Canada was in the Fraser Valley in 2004, when a high-path strain of H7N3 spread to 42 commercial farms and 11 backyard coups in the Fraser Valley. In response, the federal government ordered the slaughter of 17 million chickens, turkeys and other domestic birds.

In 2010, a low-path strain of H5N2 avian flu at a turkey breeder farm in Manitoba led to the destruction of 8,200 birds.

About 74,000 turkeys and chickens were destroyed in 2009 after a low-path strain of H5N2 infected poultry at two Fraser Valley farms, and more than 60,000 ducks and geese were destroyed at two farms in the region in 2005, also due to low-path H5N2.

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/avia ... story.html

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:01 am 
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B.C. avian flu virus related to lethal strain in Asia


JAMES KELLER

VANCOUVER — The Canadian Press


Published Friday, Dec. 19 2014, 7:44 PM EST

Last updated Friday, Dec. 19 2014, 7:45 PM EST

The avian flu virus involved in an outbreak in British Columbia is related to a deadly strain that has spread through Asia and is now affecting North American poultry for the first time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.

Experts say the presence of an avian flu virus with Asian lineage does not increase the danger to humans – which remains very low – but it could pose a significant risk to the poultry industry.
Nearly 250,000 chickens and turkeys are either dead or set to be euthanized due to avian flu, which has infected 11 sites in B.C.’s Fraser Valley since the beginning of the month.

Officials have already identified the subtype as a highly pathogenic, or high-path, strain of H5N2. Viruses with high pathogenicity kill birds, while their low-path counterparts typically do not.

The agency said tests have determined the virus contains genes both from H5N2, which is common to North American wild birds, as well as genes from a high-path Eurasian strain of H5N8. It keeps the label of H5N2 because its N gene is from H5N2.

“This is the first time a Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America,” it said in a statement.

“The appearance of this particular re-assortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry.” The agency has yet to determine the source of the outbreak or how it is spreading. The statement noted it has not yet been detected in wild birds in Canada.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed two wild birds in Washington state tested positive for avian flu – one with H5N2 and another with H5N8. It’s not clear whether those cases are connected to the B.C. outbreak.

Earl Brown, a University of Ottawa microbiologist who is an expert in the influenza virus, said a virus with Asian roots could be significant if it sustains itself in wild birds.

Dr. Brown said that in North America, avian flu typically infects farmed poultry in its low-path form, which often does not have a significant impact on operations. The virus can evolve into a high-path variety, but that doesn’t always happen and it’s a long process. He said that doesn’t appear to be what happened in the current outbreak.

“If you get bird flu into a poultry barn right now, most of the time you can get away with it because the virus won’t adapt and won’t evolve to high virulence,” Dr. Brown said Friday.

``But if you have high-path in your wild birds, then every time there is a slip through biosecurity it will be seen as a big event of mortality. It really hinges on whether this virus stays behind in the wild birds.” Ray Nickel, president of the B.C. Poultry Association, said it’s a concerning development for the industry because it means the virus is already in its high-path form when it first enters a barn.

“Our vigilance is going to have to be extraordinarily careful because it could be in the environment,” Mr. Nickel said.

“It isn’t like we’ll get control, we’ll clean this up and we won’t have to worry about it anymore. We will continue to have to be very careful about environmental contamination.” High-path H5N8 has been responsible for recent outbreaks in Asia and Europe, including in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

There have not been any cases of H5N8 transmitting to humans.

Hundreds of people, primarily in East Asia and the Middle East, have been infected with H5N1, with more than half of them dying, while there has been one reported case of a human H5N6 infection.

Brian Ward, a microbiology professor at McGill University in Montreal, said the link to Asian influenza does not increase the risk to people in B.C.

“The fact that it’s highly pathogenic is a big deal for birds,” Dr. Ward said. `”Human infection is very rare, and more importantly, from a pandemic point of view, human-to-human transmission is extremely unlikely.” The current outbreak began about three weeks ago, when officials from B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza on a turkey farm and a chicken farm.

The virus has now infected 11 sites in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley. The latest, a chicken farm in Langley, was confirmed on Wednesday.

The most serious avian flu outbreak in Canada was in the Fraser Valley in 2004, when a high-path strain of H7N3 spread to 42 commercial farms and 11 backyard coups in the Fraser Valley. In response, the federal government ordered the slaughter of 17 million chickens, turkeys and other domestic birds.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/bri ... e22169127/

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:09 am 
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niman wrote:
Avian flu outbreak that started in Chilliwack crosses U.S. border
Image
Most of the western half of Chilliwack is in the CFIA's avian influenza restricted zone.— Image Credit: Paul J. Henderson
0
by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM
The Fraser Valley’s outbreak of avian influenza has now crossed the U.S. border and at least one American expert isn’t impressed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) response.

Biomedical researcher Henry Niman is concerned the highly pathogenic strain will spread throughout North America as wild birds begin winter migration.

No poultry farms in the U.S. were impacted by Wednesday, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported Tuesday that the H5N2 strain found in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and now Langley has been detected in northern pintail ducks in Lynden, Wash., fewer than 15 kilometres from the Fraser Valley cluster.

“The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the [highly pathogenic] H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada,” said a USDA statement issued Dec. 16.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was found in Washington in three captive falcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

Niman, who is president of Pittsburgh-based Recombinomics, analyzes viral evolution and the spread of disease.

“The wild birds really can’t be controlled, which is why this is a very big deal that could have a serious impact on poultry markets throughout the Americas,” Niman told the Times.

“Poultry farmers throughout North America should be worried.”

Niman says the CFIA is trying to “manage the message” and downplay concerns, releasing information too slowly, something that could have far-reaching consequences.

As of Wednesday morning, the CFIA had reported 10 farms in the Fraser Valley affected by the current outbreak. Approximately 233,800 chickens and turkeys have either died from the illness or been euthanized.

The first farm where avian flu was detected was a broiler breeder with 13,000 birds in Chilliwack, although no other farms in the city have been directly impacted by the outbreak. Eight of the other farms affected are in Abbotsford—three turkey and five broiler breeders.

The latest and the largest is a 53,000 table egg layer farm in Langley.

The CFIA did say Wednesday that the H5N8 was the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America."

"The appearance of this particular reassortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry," a Dec. 17 CFIA statement said.

No H5N2 illness has been reported in humans, but the CFIA said that as a precautionary measure, public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

While the illness is not dangerous to people, and the outbreak is likely to have little or no impact on consumers, the industry is feeling the effects as a three-level disease control zone has been set up in the province. The largest primary control zone covers the entire southern half of the province from Highway 16 south. Then there is a restricted zone from that encompassing an area between three and 10 kilometres away from infected farms. Chilliwack residents may have seen signs identifying this zone on the eastern side of Vedder Road closer to the Vedder River. The highest restrictions are in the “infected” zone, the area within three kilometres from any known infected premises, which in Chilliwack means most of Greendale and Yarrow.

The CFIA did not respond to a request to comment on Niman’s suggestion they have under-reacted to the current outbreak.

“All of this will come out eventually and pretending it isn’t as big as it is doesn’t solve the problem,” Niman said. “Most of the spread will likely be through independent introductions by wild birds, which is very hard to control.”

http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/286246111.html

UPDATE: 11th farm hit with Avian flu, outbreak that started in Chilliwack enters U.S.

by Paul J. Henderson - Chilliwack Times
posted Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM— updated Dec 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM
The Fraser Valley’s outbreak of avian influenza has now crossed the U.S. border and at least one American expert isn’t impressed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) response.

Biomedical researcher Henry Niman is concerned the highly pathogenic strain will spread throughout North America as wild birds begin winter migration.

No poultry farms in the U.S. were impacted by Wednesday, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported Tuesday that the H5N2 strain found in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and now Langley has been detected in northern pintail ducks in Lynden, Wash., fewer than 15 kilometres from the Fraser Valley cluster.

“The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the [highly pathogenic] H5N2 avian influenza affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada,” said a USDA statement issued Dec. 16.

In addition, a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain was found in Washington in three captive falcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

Niman, who is president of Pittsburgh-based Recombinomics, analyzes viral evolution and the spread of disease.

“The wild birds really can’t be controlled, which is why this is a very big deal that could have a serious impact on poultry markets throughout the Americas,” Niman told the Times.

“Poultry farmers throughout North America should be worried.”

Niman says the CFIA is trying to “manage the message” and downplay concerns, releasing information too slowly, something that could have far-reaching consequences.

As of Friday morning, the CFIA had reported 11 farms in the Fraser Valley affected by the current outbreak. Approximately 245,600 chickens and turkeys have either died from the illness or been euthanized.

The first farm where avian flu was detected was a broiler breeder with 13,000 birds in Chilliwack, although no other farms in the city have been directly impacted by the outbreak. Eight of the other farms affected are in Abbotsford—three turkey and five broiler breeders.

The 10th and largest was a 53,000 table egg layer farm in Langley on Dec. 13. Then on Dec. 17, a second Langley farm, a 11,800-chicken broiler breeder was added to the list.

The CFIA said Wednesday that the H5N8 was the first time a "Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America."

"The appearance of this particular reassortant virus is significant due to its ability to cause high mortality in domestic poultry," a Dec. 17 CFIA statement said.

No H5N2 illness has been reported in humans, but the CFIA said that as a precautionary measure, public health officials are monitoring workers who are exposed to affected poultry.

In response to questions from Niman that the CFIA has not acted quickly enough, a spokesperson said the agency "is committed to sharing new information related to the avian influenza situation in a timely manner. The Agency regularly posts updates to the web via the Infected Premises Table, the Timeline of Events, and online statements."

CFIA agrees that wild birds are a problem since they cannot be controlled, which is why biosecurity on farms plays a "very important role."

"Wild birds are certainly a serious concern regarding the spread of this disease as wild birds are natural reservoirs of influenza viruses and have natural migration pathways," the agency said.

The CFIA has not detected either H5N2 or H5N8 in wild birds anywhere in Canada in 2014.

While the illness is not dangerous to people, and the outbreak is likely to have little or no impact on consumers, the industry is feeling the effects as a three-level disease control zone has been set up in the province. The largest primary control zone covers the entire southern half of the province from Highway 16 south. Then there is a restricted zone from that encompassing an area between three and 10 kilometres away from infected farms. Chilliwack residents may have seen signs identifying this zone on the eastern side of Vedder Road closer to the Vedder River. The highest restrictions are in the “infected” zone, the area within three kilometres from any known infected premises, which in Chilliwack means most of Greendale and Yarrow.

“All of this will come out eventually and pretending it isn’t as big as it is doesn’t solve the problem,” Niman said. “Most of the spread will likely be through independent introductions by wild birds, which is very hard to control.”

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:52 pm 
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Highly pathogenic bird flu confirmed for first time in wild raptors in Whatcom, Skagit
BY KIE RELYEA
The Bellingham Herald
February 6, 2015

Two hawks in Whatcom and Skagit counties are the first confirmed cases of highly pathogenic bird flu in wild raptors in North America.

The Cooper’s hawk was collected in Whatcom County on Dec. 29 and the red-tailed hawk in Skagit County on Jan. 9. Tests confirmed Jan. 26 that both had the H5N2 strain of bird flu.

Highly pathogenic means the strains can be deadly to domestic chickens and turkeys.

The hawks died of other causes — one struck a power line, the other was preyed on by something else — but a necropsy after their deaths showed that the flu was affecting their organs and other tissue, according to Don Kraege, waterfowl section manager for the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Still, the findings worry wildlife officials.

“We are concerned about impacts on raptors,” Kraege said. “They typically have smaller population sizes.”

It’s unknown how the hawks got the flu. They usually eat upland birds and small mammals, such as mice, not waterfowl, which are carriers of the virus, according to Kraege.

“We’re not really sure on the pathway, how they got avian influenza,” he said. “I wouldn’t rule it out that they’re eating some waterfowl, but it’s not the primary part of their diet.”

The two raptors were among the hundreds of wild birds that have been sampled to determine how widespread the highly pathogenic bird flu is in the wild. Results are still some weeks out, and will be used to create a plan for follow-up surveillance.

Wild waterfowl carry the flu but don’t show symptoms. So sampling focused primarily on wild ducks, especially the top four killed by hunters: green-winged teals, widgeons, mallards and northern pintails.

Testing was stepped up here after Canadian inspectors first confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain at two British Columbia poultry farms in the first week of December.

The week after that, fish and wildlife officials tested two birds found dead in Whatcom County. One was a northern pintail duck, which actually died because of aspergillosis, a fungal disease that birds can contract from eating moldy grain in fields and farm yards. But the duck also carried a strain of bird flu similar to the one that caused the outbreak in B.C.

The other was a gyrfalcon used for hunting; it was fed a wild widgeon, a type of duck, by its owner. Testing showed an H5N8 strain of the virus in the gyrfalcon. The bird was one of four captive gyrfalcons fed the widgeon. All died after, but just one was tested.

The gyrfalcon deaths turned wildlife officials’ attention to raptors.

Both the wild pintail and widgeon were traced to the Wiser Lake area.

The initial findings marked the first time wild birds in North America were found to have highly pathogenic bird flu, and raised concerns for domesticated backyard flocks that come into contact with wild birds in Whatcom County and elsewhere in the region.

Then on Jan. 16, a third strain of highly pathogenic bird flu was confirmed in a wild duck in Whatcom County when tests found the H5N1 strain in a green-winged teal killed by a hunter near Sumas.

Bird flu hasn’t been reported in backyard flocks in Whatcom County, although poultry owners are being urged to keep their birds from coming into contact with wild birds.

Officials have said all three strains aren’t dangerous to the general public because none has infected a human being. Still, they advised those who have backyard flocks, for example, to use caution.

Bird flu hasn’t been found in commercial poultry in Washington state or the U.S.

Meanwhile, wildlife officials continue to encourage the public to contact them if they find dead or sick wild birds, especially raptors.

Sick or dead wild birds can be reported by calling 1-800-606-8768.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/02 ... rylink=cpy

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:19 pm 
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niman wrote:
Published Date: 2014-12-18 11:45:54
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (112): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2
Archive Number: 20141218.3040607
AVIAN INFLUENZA (112): USA (WASHINGTON) WILD BIRDS, HPAI H5N8, H5N2
*******************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
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Date: Tue 16 Dec 2014
Source: Q13 Fox News [edited]
http://q13fox.com/2014/12/16/avian-flu- ... c-concern/


The US Department of Agriculture on [Tue 16 Dec 2014] confirmed the presence of 2 different strains of H5 avian flu virus in wild birds in Whatcom County [Washington state], but said there was no immediate public health concern.

"Both H5N2 and [H5N8] viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date," USDA said.

The department said HPAI H5N2 avian influenza was discovered in northern pintail ducks and HPAI H5N8 strain was found in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.

"Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States," USDA said.

The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of the strain affecting commercial poultry in British Columbia, the USDA said.

The USDA, Washington state, and other federal partners are working on additional surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby area.

All bird owners are encouraged to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials. Call your local vet or USDA's toll-free number at 866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity of backyard flocks can be found at http://www.healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture said it will hold a town hall meeting [Thu 18 Dec 2014] to discuss the findings and steps poultry owners should take to protect their birds. The town hall will be held at 6 pm [Thu 18 Dec 2014], in the Mount Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. It is open to the public.

--
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ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[2]
Date: Fri 12 Dec 2014
Source: USGS National Wildlife Health Center [edited]
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/w ... 5_H5N8.pdf


Detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses H5N2 and H5N8 in the United States, Washington State
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This Bulletin provides information on the current situation regarding the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) H5N2 and H5N8 in wild and captive birds in the United States. Following reports of recent outbreaks of HPAIV in poultry in British Columbia, Canada, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife together with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Wildlife Services investigated a waterfowl mortality event on Wiser Lake in Whatcom County, Washington adjacent to the affected area in Canada. Mortality of a captive gyrfalcon that had recently been fed waterfowl meat from the area was also investigated. Gross examinations and microbiological culture analyses of the waterfowl carcasses indicated aspergillosis in several of the birds. In addition, virology analyses conducted in collaboration with the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the presence of HPAIV H5 avian influenza in 2 of the birds.

Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAIV H5N2 in a wild northern pintail duck (_Anas acuta_) and HPAIV H5N8 in a captive gyrfalcon (_Falco rusticolus_) that was fed wild waterfowl from this site. Both viruses have been determined to have an amino acid sequence at the hemagglutinin cleavage site consistent with HPAIV. Preliminary data suggest that these virus strains (H5N2 and H5N8) may be related to an HPAIV H5N8 previously known to have circulated during 2014 among wild birds and poultry (chickens and ducks) in Asia and Western Europe. Wild bird species known to be infected with HPAIV H5N8 and a timeline of major HPAIV H5N8 events during 2014 are summarized in Tables 1 and 2, respectively [available at the source URL above]. The novel H5N2 and H5N8 detections in the United States that are described in this Bulletin only involve free-ranging and captive wild birds, and further investigation and characterization of the HPAIVs is ongoing. Neither of these viruses has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States.

The NWHC is continuing to monitor for HPAIV by testing sick and dead migratory birds. In an effort to maximize early detection of HPAIV and to understand the spatial extent and species involvement of H5 HPAIV in North America, wildlife managers should remain vigilant for wild bird morbidity and mortality events and continue to submit carcasses from any events that meet the criteria described below.

Submission criteria
-------------------
1. Mortality events of any size involving waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans) or other water birds (loons, grebes, coots, shorebirds or wading birds such as egrets/herons).
2. Mortality events of any size involving North American avian scavenger species (raptors, ravens, crows, or gulls), particularly those observed near locations with on-going waterbird mortality.
3. Mortality events involving single- or multiple bird species where estimated total mortality exceeds 500 birds.
4. Other examples of events that warrant investigation include mortality events involving any wild bird species occurring in close proximity to poultry operations, or mortality events associated with captive birds that have been imported from countries where H5 or H7 HPAIVs are known to occur.

NWHC will also test for HPAIV in other species when the circumstances of disease outbreaks, including rapid mortality progression or pathologic findings, suggest that avian influenza may be a factor.

These criteria may be revised in the future as more information on pathogen distribution is obtained from enhanced HPAIV surveillance efforts. NWHC will continue submitting samples to the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories for confirmatory testing and for mortality events exceeding 500 birds.

There has to date been no evidence of HPAIV H5N2- or H5N8-related illness in humans, but appropriate hygiene measures should be observed when handling wild birds. Recommended hygiene measures and useful links are also provided below.

Additional information
----------------------
- OIE: Questions and Answers on Highly Pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza strain (http://www.un-influenza.org/?q=content/ ... nza-strain
- Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds statement on H5N8 HPAI in Poultry and Wild Birds (http://www.unep-aewa.org/sites/default/ ... 202014.pdf)
- NWHC Avian Influenza Information (http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_inform ... /index.jsp)
- USDA Avian Influenza Information
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usd ... uenza.html
- USDA Biosecurity for Birds
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health ... curity/AI/

Recommendations
---------------
Hunters should follow these routine precautions when handling game:
- Do not handle or eat sick game.
- Wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning game.
- Wash hands and thoroughly clean knives, equipment and surfaces that come into contact with game.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling animals.
- All game should be thoroughly cooked (internal temperature of 165 deg F [74 deg C]).

Field biologists handling sick or dead birds associated with a mortality event should:
- Wear rubber, latex, or nitrile gloves that can be disinfected or discarded and protective eyewear or a face shield while handling animals.
- Wear protective clothing, including coveralls and rubber boots.
- Minimize respiratory exposure by wearing a respirator/mask (NIOSH N95 or better).
- Wash hands often and disinfect work surfaces and equipment before travelling between sites.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling animals.
- Properly dispose of potentially infectious material including carcasses. For additional information see the USGS Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases (http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/field_manual/).
- Additional health and safety information can be found at http://on.doi.gov/1DQdXXy

Disease investigation services
------------------------------
To request diagnostic services or report wildlife mortality, please contact the NWHC at 608-270-2480 or by email at <NWHC-epi@usgs.gov>, and a field epidemiologist will be available to discuss the case. To report wildlife mortality events in Hawaii or Pacific Island territories, please contact the Honolulu Field Station at 808-792-9520 or email Thierry Work at <thierry_work@usgs.gov>. Further information can be found at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/services/.

Wildlife Mortality Reporting and Diagnostic Submission Request Form:
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/services/Wildl ... 20Form.pdf

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the scientific and technical services the NWHC provides, please do not hesitate to contact NWHC Director Jonathan Sleeman at 608-270-2401, <jsleeman@usgs.gov>.

Wildlife Health Bulletins are distributed to natural resource/conservation agencies to provide and promote information exchange about significant wildlife health threats. If you would like to be added to or removed from the mailing list for these bulletins, please contact Gail Moede Rogall at 608-270-2438 or <nwhcoutreachdb@usgs.gov>.

--
Communicated by:
Gail Moede Rogall
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
<gmrogall@usgs.gov>

[Avian influenza (AI) is caused by type A influenza virus. The signs can vary from a mild disease with little or no mortality to a highly fatal, rapidly spreading epidemic (highly pathogenic avian influenza) depending on the infecting virus strain, host factors, and environmental stressors. Signs of avian influenza are extremely variable. In some flocks the only evidence of the infection is seroconversion, that is, the birds develop a detectable antibody titer to AI. AI can also be manifest as respiratory, enteric, reproductive, or nervous system disease. Decreased food consumption and drops in egg production are among some of the earliest and most predictable signs of disease.

Signs including coughing, sneezing, ruffled feathers, swollen heads, nervous signs like depression, and diarrhea may occur together or singly. In some cases, birds die rapidly without clinical signs of disease.

Wild birds and their excreta should be considered a major source of avian influenza. Preventing direct contact with free-flying birds and protecting domestic poultry from contact with the feces of wild birds is an important way to prevent avian influenza.

Influenza viruses are very sensitive to most detergents and disinfectants. They are readily inactivated by heating and drying. However, flu viruses are well protected from inactivation by organic material and infectious virus can be recovered from manure for up to 105 days. Complete removal of all organic material is part of any effective disinfection procedure.

Contaminated houses are heated for several days to inactivate virus. Organic material is removed followed by complete cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces. Contaminated litter and manure are problematic and should be composted or buried to ensure that they do not spread infectious virus.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from http://www.ncagr.gov/vet/factsheets/avianinfluenza.htm.

The OIE recommends strengthening animal disease surveillance worldwide (http://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/pre ... worldwide/)

Additional resources
--------------------
1. OFFLU (OIE-FAO global network of expertise on animal influenza): H5N8 situation report for wild birds and guidance (24 Nov 2014)
http://www.offlu.net/fileadmin/home/en/ ... _Final.pdf
2. FAO: Wild bird highly pathogenic avian influenza surveillance, sample collection from healthy, sick and dead birds
http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0960e/a0960e00.htm
3. OFFLU: Strategy document for surveillance and monitoring of influenzas in animals
http://www.offlu.net/fileadmin/home/en/ ... llance.pdf

The state of Washington can be located on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/4648. Whatcom County can be seen on the map at http://geology.com/county-map/washington-county-map.gif. - Mod.TG]
See Also
Avian influenza (110): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2, OIE 20141217.3037995
Avian influenza (108): USA (WA) H5N2, H5N8, wild birds 20141217.3038018
Avian influenza (68): USA (NJ) poultry, LPAI, H7, OIE 20140829.2731960
Avian influenza (55): USA (CA) poultry, LPAI, H5 20140425.2428504
Avian influenza (54): USA (CA) poultry, LPAI, H5, OIE 20140423.2424661
2013
----
Avian influenza (71): USA (AR) poultry, LPAI H7N7 20130620.1782674
Avian influenza (04): USA (NY) H5 LPAI, poultry, RFI for N-type 20130115.1498109
2012
----
Avian influenza (13): USA (MA) LPAI, swan 20120208.1036521
Avian influenza (08): USA (MA) LPAI, swan 20120203.1031447
2004
----
Avian influenza, H7, poultry - USA (DE, MD) 20040412.0993
Avian influenza, poultry, H7 - USA (MD) (02) 20040309.0665
Avian Influenza, poultry, H7 - USA (MD) 20040308.0657
.................................................sb/tg/mj/ml

Groups dispute cause of avian flu

By Sean Lin / Staff reporter


The Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) yesterday called on the Council of Agriculture to step up its efforts to identify human factors that might have contributed to the outbreak of avian flu, and not to simply blame wild birds.
The group cited a statement by the UN’s Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, which said that governments should not over-emphasize the role of wild birds in the introduction and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenzas.
The statement was released in December last year following the global H5N8 outbreaks, just weeks before the strain was confirmed to have hit Taiwan.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks are most frequently associated with intensive domestic poultry production and the trade and selling of the birds, and statistics from last year showed the majority of H5N8 outbreaks worldwide originated from inside poultry farms, suggesting that wild birds that carry the strain could have been infected by poultry, the statement said.
The statement said government agencies and the poultry farming industry should recognize that focusing attention on wild birds and excluding other possible virus vectors can “misdirect critical resources away from effective disease control and result in continued spread among poultry populations, and economic losses to farmers and national income.”
Both the H5N8 strain, first detected in China in 2010, and the H5N1 strain currently in Hong Kong, were not detected among wild birds before outbreaks.
“It seems likely that the virus originated in poultry and has probably spilled over into wild birds then back into poultry,” the statement said.
The task force advised governments to determine the true source of the H5N8 virus, and to consider the possibility of transmission via the international poultry trade, and how the virus is transmitted between poultry and wild birds.
EAST chief executive Wu Hung (朱增宏) said both the EU and Taiwan have come up short in finding migratory bird carcasses to support the hypothesis that migratory birds are the source of infection.
He called on the council to examine why it has not yet found a substantial number of dead migratory birds and to shift the focus of its investigation to human factors that might have caused the outbreaks.
In response, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine division head Yang Wen-yuan (楊文淵) said the council arrived at the hypothesis that migratory birds were responsible for the outbreaks after meeting with domestic and international animal disease prevention experts, who said that this is the most likely cause.
He said the effect of H5N8 is especially strong and rapid on geese and perhaps killed them before they could fly to Taiwan, which might explain why the council has retrieved only two migratory bird carcasses that tested positive for the virus.
In addition, geese are larger in size and less likely to make long-distance migrations, which might also account for the lack of retrieved birds, he said, adding that the council’s view on the possible cause of the outbreaks has remained unchanged.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003612670

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