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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:58 am 
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niman wrote:
Tonight at 10 PM EDT

Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
Sidespread Flu Season


http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/spe ... 031915.mp3

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:57 pm 
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http://www.recombinomics.com/News/03211 ... ce_MM.html

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:26 pm 
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No H5N2 in Minnesota wild birds
In Minnesota, no evidence of the H5N2 strain has been found in samples from wild birds that were near the affected farm at the time of the outbreak earlier this month, according to Lou Cornicelli, PhD, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

DNR officials said earlier that samples from two mallards were positive for influenza A viruses in preliminary tests. But further testing of those samples by the USDA has ruled out any H5 or H7 strain, Cornicelli told CIDRAP News today.

"That's it for testing," he said. "The bottom line is that migratory waterfowl weren't there when the birds [turkeys] got infected, and the resident ones [wild birds] were negative. So in Minnesota this can't be a wild bird issue."

DNR officials said earlier they had collected 148 fecal samples from wild birds in the vicinity of the western Minnesota outbreak. Wild birds have been widely suspected of spreading H5N8 from Asia to the United States and diffusing both strains within the country, but some experts have questioned that thinking.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... 5n2-source

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Examining the Role of Wild Birds in Midwestern US H5N2 Outbreaks
BY CWHC · 2015-03-26


In early December, 2014 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N2 was discovered in several poultry operations in the Fraser valley in southern British Columbia. By mid-December H5N2 and H5N8 viruses had been identified in Whatcom County, Washington, across the border from British Columbia. By early January, H5N8 was found in backyard poultry flocks in southeastern Washington. The geographic range of virus identifications in wild birds and poultry has continued to expand and by the end of January included sites in the states of Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada and Utah, with H5N2, H5N8 and a new strain of H5N1 all being identified. All 3 strains have been found in wild birds, but only H5N2 and H5N8 have been identified in poultry.

Genetic evidence indicated that the H5N2 and H5N8 viruses contained a mixture of Eurasian and North American virus lineages, suggesting that they were likely the product of viral mixing in wild birds, probably in the western Arctic during the summer months. The fall southward migration of waterfowl could have brought these new viral variants into southern British Columbia and the northwestern USA.

In early March, H5N2 virus was identified in a turkey flock in Minnesota and since then, there have been subsequent identifications in turkey flocks in Missouri and Arkansas and a backyard chicken and duck flock in Kansas. These have been unexpected developments and news reports have highlighted the fact that these were the first identifications of these viruses in the Mississippi Flyway. The use of the flyway as a geographic identifier puts the blame, by implication, on wild birds as the source of the virus and many commentators make this connection, even going so far in one case as to suggest that the virus was moving south from Canada in March with wild birds.

Ever since the identification of HPAI H5N1 in wild birds in 2005, there has been concern over the potential for wild birds, particularly waterfowl, to serve both as mixing vessels for HPAI and as vectors to bring new virus variants into contact with poultry. At that time, it was recognised that the migration patterns of waterfowl could potentiate the transmission of virus from Asian or European birds to North American populations and allow the spread of the virus into new geographic regions.

The flyway is a critical concept for understanding these risks. Each species of bird has a preferred or typical migration route which it tends to follow year after year. These routes have a degree of commonality and come together broadly into geographic patterns that are referred to as flyways. A look at the map of world flyways reveals the potential for different species of birds to mix together in certain parts of the world, where the sharing of viruses becomes possible. The western Arctic and the seas off the coast of Alaska are areas in which birds from Asia potentially mix with birds from the Americas.

Flyways



















While the genetic makeup of these viruses found in poultry and wild birds in North America this winter strongly suggests an origin in wild birds and a likely movement from the Arctic into the mid-continent, through either the Pacific or Mississippi flyways, the timing of the Midwestern outbreaks highlights how poorly we understand the epidemiological links between wild birds and poultry.

It is reasonable to believe that these strains of HPAI arrived in the Pacific Northwest and in the Midwest after being transported south with migrating waterfowl in the fall. However, waterfowl typically do not stop and overwinter in the areas in the Midwest where the virus was initially found in turkeys. They continue their southward migration to their overwintering grounds.

The obvious question is: where have these viruses been since their postulated arrival in the fall with migrating waterfowl and the later outbreaks that have occurred in poultry. Unlike the occurrences in southern British Columbia and the northwestern states, there is no significant resident population of wild waterfowl in Minnesota in which the virus might be sustained. An attempt to identify the presence of virus in wild birds following the poultry outbreak was hampered by a shortage of open water and relatively few birds from which to obtain samples.

If wild birds are the source of the Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas outbreaks, somehow the virus has persisted in the environment or in some population of wild birds, but presumably not waterfowl. It has then found a way of moving from this population into poultry barns, where it has become the source of significant mortality. Presumably, epidemiological investigations of these outbreaks in turkey flocks will examine all of the possible sources and routes of entry of HPAI virus into these farms and consider other means (not associated with wild birds) by which the virus could have moved from the Pacific to the Mississippi flyway.

The identification of new strains of HPAI in apparently healthy wild birds and the spread of these strains over large distances raise important questions regarding how and where surveillance efforts in wild birds should be targeted. The emphasis since 2006 has been on detection of HPAI in dead birds, based upon the findings of wild birds dead of infection with the H5N1 Asian strain of virus. It now appears that there are HPAI strains circulating in wild birds in North America, without causing harm to those birds. This suggests that surveillance efforts now need to include apparently healthy as well as dead birds. Although it still seems reasonable to target waterfowl as the most likely carriers of virus, perhaps there are other species of birds, ones with closer links to poultry barns, which should also be included.

There are large gaps in our understanding of how these viruses are moving from wild birds into poultry barns. Ongoing surveillance for these viruses in wild bird populations will be a critical part of these investigations.

Submitted by Doug Campbell, Claire Jardine (CWHC Ontario/Nunavut), & Jane Parmley (CWHC National Office)


http://blog.healthywildlife.ca/examinin ... outbreaks/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:06 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:06 am 
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With thousands of turkeys lost, Minnesota authorities seek source of bird flu

Health Mark Steil · Worthington, Minn. · Mar 31, 2015
LISTEN Story audio
Mar 30, 2015
3min 36sec
LISTEN Turkey farmers ramp up efforts to stop spread of avian flu
5min 11sec

Nearly 150,000 turkeys have either died from avian flu or been killed as a precaution as the number of Minnesota farms infected with the deadly virus expands.

Three farms have now been hit, but how the virus infected them remains a mystery. Health officials say the exact path may never be found.

The first case turned up in late February in Pope County. After that initial outbreak, all was quiet for nearly a month. Then, late last week, state officials announced turkey flocks in Lac qui Parle and Stearns counties were infected.

• Facts: 5 things to know about the bird flu

The random spread of the disease has individual turkey producers wondering if they could be the next to absorb the financial losses of a flu outbreak in their flocks. Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, said one farmer told him he was on "pins and needles."

"There's a nervousness out there," Olson said. "Because it does seem like it's getting in barns even though there's strict biosecurity."

Olson said farmers are intensifying their efforts to keep the virus out, taking new steps like washing truck tires before a vehicle enters a farm.

The Stearns County outbreak is of particular concern because other commercial turkey flocks are near the infected farm, said state veterinarian Bill Hartmann. Farms within 6 miles of the infection site will be tested for the virus.

• Map: Avian flu in Minnesota

In part to guard against the spread of the disease to those nearby operations, Hartmann said, the state has raised its response level and set up something often used in fighting forest fires: an incident command team. Hartmann said the team will handle the details of the Stearns County cleanup and investigation.

"They direct the activities of our field force, who are actually going out and visiting these poultry operations," he said.

Although the risk of transmission to humans is low, workers having contact with the infected flocks will also be monitored for the illness, Hartmann said.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to determine how the virus got into Minnesota. The current outbreak has touched about a half-dozen other states. One theory is that wild waterfowl brought the virus into Minnesota, but so far there's no proof of that. Hartmann said the only testing of nearby wild ducks came after the first outbreak, in Pope County.

"They did not find any evidence of this virus in the resident ducks there," he said.

Establishing the path of the virus is much more difficult now that the spring migration is underway and thousands of waterfowl are moving through the state. Hartmann said investigations have been done on other avian influenza viruses, without success.

"We never have found a particular source of the infection," he said.

The stakes are higher this time. Those past investigations concerned viruses that typically did not kill turkeys. The current virus is so virulent that thousands of birds can die in a few days.

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/03/31/bird-flu

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:00 pm 
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Published Date: 2015-04-16 13:32:22
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (84): USA, HPAI, H5N2, poultry
Archive Number: 20150416.3300808
AVIAN INFLUENZA (84): USA, HPAI H5N2, POULTRY
*********************************************
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[1] Update on outbreak numbers
[2] New Mexico
[3] Minnesota
[4] Iowa
[5] The role of wild birds

******
[1] Numbers update
Date: 14 Apr 2015
Source: Agri-pulse.com [edited]
http://www.agri-pulse.com/Avian-flu-con ... 142014.asp


The Department of Agriculture confirmed 9 new cases of the H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) today including the 1st instance of the disease in Iowa. The disease has now reached 12 states since 1st appearing in the Pacific Northwest in January 2015.

8 of the 9 cases announced today by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) were in Minnesota, which leads the nation with 22 confirmed cases of the HPAI strain. All 9 of the newly confirmed outbreaks were on turkey farms in Minnesota and Iowa. According to USDA figures, almost 570 000 turkeys will be quarantined and depopulated as a result of today's announcements.

Both Minnesota and Iowa are in the Mississippi flyway where the disease 1st appeared in Minnesota in early March 2015. In the last week, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota have all had their 1st confirmed cases of the disease.

Aside from the 12 states with confirmed H5N2 cases, a case of a separate strain of H5N8 was detected in California in December 2014, bringing the total number of U.S. states with HPAI outbreaks to 13. As of today, there have been 43 cases of avian flu confirmed in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk of HPAI H5 infection in humans to be low. No human infections have been detected at this time.

--
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******
[2] New Mexico
Date: 14 Apr 2015
Source: San Luis Obispo.com [edited]
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/04/14 ... .html?rh=1


A duck at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Mexico, 1 of the nation's premier birding spots, has tested positive for a highly virulent strain of bird flu, state officials said Tuesday.

The case is the latest in a growing outbreak of bird flu, especially the highly contagious H5N2 strain affecting poultry in multiple states. While the strain can be deadly among waterfowl, poultry and other birds, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people to be low.

The positive test results for the cinnamon teal duck from the wildlife refuge marks the first instance of the strain in New Mexico. The duck was 1 of nearly 200 tested in February and March 2015 as part of a federal effort to expand surveillance for bird flu.

Kerry Mower, a wildlife disease specialist with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, said people need to take precautions to protect their domestic flocks from wild birds.

"We're trying to put the word out," he said. "The primary risk in New Mexico is to people who have a backyard poultry operation of some sort, whether it's eggs for the family or a few birds they sell."

Of primary concern are areas along migration paths, including the Rio Grande corridor, which stretches from South Texas into New Mexico and Colorado. Wildlife officials say although they're not certain, the duck that tested positive was likely passing through New Mexico.

[Byline: Susan Montoya Bryan]

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******
[3] Minnesota
Date: 14 Apr 2015
Source: Star Tribune [edited]
http://www.startribune.com/business/299732091.html


The H5N2 bird flu has hit 8 more commercial turkey farms in Minnesota, bringing the total number of outbreaks to 22.

The latest incidents involve more than 500 000 turkeys in several counties. The number of birds affected now tallies more than 1.4 million, or about 3 percent of the state's annual turkey production.

Minnesota, the nation's largest turkey producer, is the epicenter of a nationwide outbreak of highly lethal bird flu that has hit about 15 states.

6 of the 8 new Minnesota cases are connected to turkey suppliers for Hormel Foods, owner of the well-known Jennie-O turkey brand. So far, 15 of the 22 Minnesota farms hit by the highly lethal flu are suppliers to Hormel, the nation's second largest turkey processor.

The biggest outbreak announced Tue 14 Apr 2015 hit 2 Hormel-affiliated farms in Swift County with a total of 314 000 birds. Only a minority of birds on a farm typically die from the flu, but all turkeys are killed out of precaution.

Other outbreaks reported Tuesday:

A 76 000 turkey flock in Stearns County, the 5th bird flu incident in that county.

A 56 000 turkey flock in Redwood County.

2 farms in Meeker County totaling 45 000 birds, the 2nd and 3rd incidents in that county.

A 30 000 turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, the 4th incident there.

A 21 000 turkey flock in Le Sueur County.

Animal health experts hope warmer weather will slow or stop the virus' spread. But with the flu ingrained in turkey country, the state will have to be on guard against the bird flu for the next 3-5 years, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

The bird flu is believed to be spread by waterfowl that carry the virus but don't get sick from it. It is of low risk to humans.

[Byline: Mike Hughlett]

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******
[4] Iowa
Date: 15 Apr 2015
Source: Des Moines Register [edited]
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/ ... /25775961/


A bird flu outbreak affecting areas throughout the Midwest has been found in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, the 1st time the virus has been found in Iowa, the U.S. government said Tue 14 Apr 2015.

The Agriculture Department said the H5N2 avian influenza strain, which is capable of killing an entire flock within 48 hours, was found in a commercial flock of 27 000 turkeys.

The government did not specify the location of the farm or name the operation. Officials said the turkeys will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease and that none of the birds will enter the food system.

"We think all the things are in place to make sure this outbreak doesn't lead to other outbreaks around it," said Bill Northey, Iowa's secretary of agriculture. "We don't know what the disease's prevalence is in the wild population. It could show up at other places. But we don't know that it will, and we're hopeful that it doesn't," Northey said.

The facility and poultry facilities within 10 kilometers around it have been quarantined. State officials will test commercial and backyard poultry in the area for the disease.

Iowa State University economist David Swenson said the discovery in Buena Vista County is unlikely to have a major impact on the state through the loss of jobs, farm income for other producers or the consumer through higher poultry prices, unless the outbreak becomes more widespread.

"It's really important to the poultry industry, and one has to be careful not to minimize that," Swenson said. "But in terms of the state's economy noticing this, it probably won't unless this disease isn't stemmed."

Iowa ranks about 9th in the nation for turkey production, with about 11 million birds. Iowa is the nation's leading egg producer, with 60 million laying hens.

The lethal virus strain has been found in a number of states, including Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. More than 1.2 million birds have been killed by the disease or by authorities working to prevent it from spreading. No human infections have been found with the virus, USDA said.

Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Poultry Association, said it's not surprising the disease showed up in Iowa after being discovered in neighboring states.

He said the appearance of the disease should concern the entire agriculture industry. "Poultry is very important to the state, and the turkey industry and egg layers are major consumers of corn and soybeans," Olson said. No disease has been discovered in an Iowa egg-laying operation.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Ames confirmed the findings.

Scientists and government officials believe the virus is being spread through migratory birds in the Mississippi flyway, where the strain previously has been identified. The birds are believed to transmit the illness through their droppings.

"We're not the 1st horse out of the gate on this," said Gretta Irwin, executive director of the Iowa Turkey Federation. The industry and its producers have plans in place in the event a facility is hit by the disease. Biosecurity efforts are high, said Irwin and Olson.

"The 2 things you can't control are Mother Nature and wild birds," Irwin said. "We've been watching and working and hoping and praying that it wouldn't happen, but it has."

Irwin said she's unsure about the exact location of the facility.

"Other farms close to the facility will be monitored," Irwin added, hopeful the outbreak will be an isolated occurrence.

She said the loss will be hard for the north Iowa farmer. That's true even though the federal government will reimburse for a portion of the cost.

"The main goal for farmers is to care for the livestock ... when you see your livestock sick and suffering that concludes in death, it's very hard for farmers."

[Byline: Christopher Doering and Donnelle Eller]

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******
[5] Wild birds
Date: 18 Mar 2015
Source: CIDRAP [edited]
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... questioned


[Moderator's Note: This article was published a month ago, in March 2015, so while it does not reflect current numbers regarding the outbreak, the question of the wild bird involvement is relevant. - Mod.TG]

The USDA reported that the Minnesota, Missouri, and Arkansas H5N2 isolates looked more than 99 percent similar to the [virus isolated from] Washington pintail ducks.

The notion that wild birds played a key role in bringing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses from Asia to western North America and more recently to the Midwest has been implicit in government statements about recent outbreaks. But some wildlife disease experts are warning against jumping to easy conclusions.

The story goes back to November and December 2014, when an HPAI H5N2 virus struck several poultry farms in southern British Columbia. Those outbreaks triggered increased surveillance for avian flu in the United States, and a matching virus showed up in December 2014 in a wild northern pintail duck in northwestern Washington state. At the same time, a Eurasian strain of H5N8 virus was found in a captive gyrfalcon in the same area.

Subsequently the H5N2 virus surfaced in several backyard poultry flocks and wild birds in Oregon and Idaho as well as Washington. And [in April 2015] it popped up on a western Minnesota turkey farm and shortly afterward on 2 Missouri turkey farms, an Arkansas turkey farm, and a backyard flock in Kansas. The H5N2 strain is described as a product of mixing (reassortment) between the Eurasian H5N8 virus and native North American avian flu viruses.

In an 11 Mar 2015 announcement about the Arkansas outbreak, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said, "These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife."

Last week the USDA reported that the Minnesota, Missouri, and Arkansas H5N2 isolates looked more than 99 percent similar to the Washington pintail duck virus, based on partial genetic sequencing of the virus's hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins. The apparent implication was that migratory birds may have brought the virus to those states.

But not so fast, say experts like David Stallknecht, PhD, of the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Michele Carstensen, PhD, wildlife health program supervisor in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They point out, among other things, that migratory birds don't migrate from west to east or from north to south in late winter.

"This could all have been from wild birds -- nobody can say it's impossible," said Stallknecht. "But we do need some proof. . . . People seem to be willing to accept things without a whole lot of proof."

He said it is unknown how the H5N8 strain that gave rise to H5N2 reached North America. Noting that the H5N2 outbreaks in British Columbia marked the "index case" or 1st appearance of the virus, he said, "How much proof do we have of wild bird involvement with that virus in North America? None."

Referring to the mixing of H5N8 with North American viruses, he said, "Why do we make the jump to wild ducks to explain this? Reassortment could also occur in a backyard flock of domestic ducks after a more direct introduction [of H5N8] via people." He suggested that travelers could possibly have brought the virus to Canada from Asia.

He cautioned that this is "pure speculation," but added that the idea that wild birds introduced the parental H5N8 virus to North America is also speculative. "It is based on circumstantial evidence that is rapidly becoming accepted dogma."

Carstensen said the notion that wild birds could have brought the H5N2 virus from Minnesota to Missouri is "beyond me. . . . They [migratory birds] go from south to north this time of year." Arkansas and Kansas, on the other hand, are close enough to migratory-bird wintering grounds to make a connection with wild birds more plausible, she added.

There could be "totally different causes" for the outbreaks in Minnesota and the more southerly states, Carstensen suggested.

She and her colleagues have been testing fecal samples from wild birds found near the site of the outbreak in western Minnesota. A total of 148 samples, in 3 batches, have been tested for the presence of any avian flu virus. Only 2, both from mallards, tested positive, but the viral subtypes were not determined, she reported today. The samples have been sent to a USDA lab for the subtype determination.

If the viruses turn out to be H5 or H7 strains, their pathogenicity will be determined, which would take several weeks, Carstensen said. She noted that a number of H5 and H7 viruses were found in Minnesota wild birds in recent years, but they were all of low pathogenicity.

Even if wild birds did bring the H5N2 virus to Minnesota, she said, "It still has to get from the birds to the farm. The birds don't go there; it would have to be people or vehicles. The farm doesn't have any reports of waterfowl there at all."

Stallknecht said that whether the source of the virus was wild birds or human activity makes no difference in how to respond to and control the virus, but it does make a difference in other ways.

"Biosecurity is everything now, regardless of the source," he said via e-mail. "With regard to future risks for introductions of exotic viruses (flu or otherwise), however, it might be nice to know what really happened here."

[Byline: Robert Roos]

Communicated by:
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[The update on numbers provides a good indication that this disease is spreading extremely rapidly. Please see the map at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl ... 0Jt6F7NlIM

The rapid climb in infected premises and the number of birds brings into focus the possibility that wild birds may not be the link they were originally believed to be.

While the New Mexico case is a long way from Minnesota, it may herald more to come (though we hope not).

However, the 3rd article calls into question the poultry processing plants. These outbreaks seem to have something of a cluster around them. This can also be seen on the link provided in this comment.

A map of New Mexico may be found at http://healthmap.org/r/awIM
A map of Minnesota may be found at http://healthmap.org/r/awIO
A map of Iowa may be found at http://healthmap.org/r/awIP - Mod.TG]
See Also
Avian influenza (82): USA, HPAI H5N2, turkeys, poultry: 20150415.3298419
Avian influenza (78): USA (MN, SD) HPAI, H5N2, turkeys 20150413.3293606
Avian influenza (64): USA (MT) HPAI H5N2, falcon 20150401.3271195
Avian influenza (63): USA (WY) HPAI H5N2, goose 20150331.3267533
Avian influenza (59): USA (MN): turkey, H5N2 20150329.3264089
Avian influenza (54): USA (CA) poultry, LPAI H7N3, OIE 20150319.3241143
Avian influenza (50): USA (AR) turkey, H5N2 20150313.3227033
Avian influenza (49): USA (MO) turkey, H5N2 20150312.3223765
Avian influenza (39): USA (OR) backyard flock 20150215.3167658
Avian influenza (38): USA (ID) 20150213.3161063
Avian influenza (34): USA (WA) hobby birds 20150204.3141350
Avian influenza (29): USA (WA) game birds 20150130.3132628
Avian influenza (17): USA (WA) wild duck, HPAI H5N1, OIE 20150122.3109001
Avian influenza (16): USA (WA, ID) HPAI H5N2, H5N8 20150121.3107002
Avian influenza (09): USA (UT) H5N8, wild duck 20150115.3094193
Avian influenza (08): USA (CA) HPAI H5N8, wild bird 20150115.3093306
Avian influenza (02): USA (WA) HPAI H5N2, backyard flock 20150110.3083028
Avian influenza (01): USA (WA) backyard poultry, HPAI H5N2, OIE 20150109.3082193
2014
----
Avian influenza (112): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2 20141218.3040607
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
.................................................sb/tg/pg/jw

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:08 pm 
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Published Date: 2015-04-24 14:15:12
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (95): Canada (ON) poultry; HPAI H5N2
Archive Number: 20150424.3319119
AVIAN INFLUENZA (95): CANADA (ONTARIO) POULTRY, HPAI H5N2
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Date: Wed 22 Apr 2015
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) [edited]
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/ter ... 9669801390


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has established a 2nd Avian Influenza Control Zone in Ontario to control the movement of animals, products, and equipment within the zone to minimize disease spread. The boundary of this 2nd Avian Influenza Control Zone covers a 10 km [6 mi] radius from the 2nd premises confirmed to be infected with avian influenza. The zone spans across a portion of Oxford County and Waterloo County, Ontario.

All premises having poultry on site located within the 2nd Avian Influenza Control Zone have now been placed under quarantine; however, only the 2nd infected premises has shown any signs of illness. The Agency is monitoring the additional quarantined premises closely for any signs of disease.

The establishment of individual quarantines and the Avian Influenza Control Zone is part of an internationally accepted practice to allow trade to continue from non-infected areas of a country. The establishment of this second zone will continue to contribute to the alleviation of market access restrictions.

Some of our trading partners, including the European Union and the United States, have recognized our 2nd control zone and trade in products originating outside the 2 zones will be able to resume shortly. We are working closely with industry and the remainder of our international partners to reaffirm continued trade based on ongoing effective control measures and certification requirements.

The CFIA has completed scientific testing at the Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) to sequence the virus of this particular H5N2 strain of avian influenza. This strain of the virus currently present in Ontario is nearly identical to the strain identified at the initial infected premises, as well as in British Columbia at the end of 2014. It also closely matches the strain isolated in Washington State, US. Avian influenza strains circulate in migratory wild birds and waterfowl, which pose a risk for spreading the disease.

Avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds.

As the CFIA's investigation progresses, any additional control measures will be assessed and put into place as appropriate. Poultry farmers are reminded to practice a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease spread, and report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks to the CFIA. For more information on avian influenza and measures poultry farmers can take to protect their flocks, please visit the CFIA website at http://inspection.gc.ca

--
communicated by:
Chanel Schwartzentruber, BSc
DVM candidate - Class of 2017
Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1
<cschwart@mail.uoguelph.ca>

[This virus continues its march. One has to wonder as the wild birds migrate north, and now we are seeing a slight uptick in the cases in Canada, if the wild birds are still not responsible for starting the spread of this virus, and perhaps are partly or wholly responsible for its continuing spread.

Maps of Canada can be seen at https://canadaalive.files.wordpress.com ... al_map.gif and http://healthmap.org/promed/p/260. - Mod.TG]
See Also
Avian influenza (94): USA (IA) HPAI H5N2, poultry 20150423.3316416
Avian influenza (91): USA (MN,WI) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150422.3313679
Avian influenza (89): Canada (ON), poultry, HPAI H5N2 susp. 20150419.3308319
Avian influenza (89): USA (MN, SD) HPAI H5N2, turkey : 20150419.3307106
Avian influenza (77): Canada (ON) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150414.3295962
Avian influenza (76): USA (MN, SD) HPAI, H5N2, turkeys 20150413.3293606
Avian influenza (75): Canada (ON) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150412.3292233
Avian influenza (74): USA (MN,ND) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150412.3292191
Avian influenza (73): Canada (ON) HPAI H5N2, poultry, OIE 20150410.3288088
Avian influenza (71): Canada (ON) HPAI, H5N2, turkey 20150409.3285805
Avian influenza (37): Canada (BC) backyard poultry, HPAI H5N1, OIE 20150210.3155389
Avian influenza (34): USA (WA) hobby birds 20150204.3141350
Avian influenza (29): USA (WA) game birds 20150130.3132628
Avian influenza (25): USA, novel HPAI viruses in wild birds 20150128.3125661
Avian influenza (23): USA (CA), turkey, HPAI H5N8, OIE 20150126.3120342
Avian influenza (22): USA (CA) turkey, H5N8 20150125.3117238
Avian influenza (20): USA (WA) wild duck, HPAI H5N1 20150124.3115544
Avian influenza (18): USA (WA) wild duck, HPAI H5N1, OIE 20150122.3109001
Avian influenza (16): USA (WA, ID) HPAI H5N2, H5N8 20150121.3107002
Avian influenza (09): USA (UT) H5N8, wild duck 20150115.3094193
Avian influenza (08): USA (CA) HPAI H5N8, wild bird 20150115.3093306
Avian influenza (02): USA (WA) HPAI H5N2, backyard flock 20150110.3083028
Avian influenza (01): USA (WA) backyard poultry, HPAI H5N2, OIE 20150109.3082193
2014
---
Avian influenza (120): Canada (BC) HPAI, poultry 20141228.3058007
Avian influenza (115): USA (OR) backyard poultry, HPAI H5N8, OIE 20141222.3049031
Avian influenza (114): Canada (BC) HPAI H5N2, poultry, Asian origin 20141221.3047300
Avian influenza (112): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2 20141218.3040607
Avian influenza (110): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2, OIE 20141217.3037995
Avian influenza (109): Canada (BC) HPAI H5N2, poultry: 20141217.3038022
Avian influenza (104): Canada (BC) HPAI H5N2, poultry, update, OIE 20141210.3024271
Avian influenza (102): Canada (BC) HPAI H5N2, poultry 20141205.3012874
Avian influenza (101): Canada (BC) H5, poultry, RFI, OIE: 20141204.3011429
.................................................tg/mj/sh

http://promedmail.org/direct.php?id=20150424.3319119

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Published Date: 2015-04-24 14:25:31
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza (96): USA, HPAI H5N2
Archive Number: 20150424.3319118
AVIAN INFLUENZA (96): USA, HPAI H5N2
************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

In this posting:
[1] USDA update on findings
[2] News report
[3] Minnesota

******
[1] USDA update on findings
Date: Thu 23 Apr 2015
Source: US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) [edited]
http://1.usa.gov/1I4hzp9


Update on avian influenza findings

Poultry findings confirmed by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories
-----------------------------------------------------------------
State / County / Flyway / Flock type / Species / Avian influenza subtype* / Confirmation date / Flock size
Minnesota / Pipestone / Mississippi / Backyard / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 150
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 62 600
Minnesota / Otter Tail / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 34 500
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 58 900
Minnesota / Redwood / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 35 500
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 75 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 19 100
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 34 500
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 21 Apr 15 / 61 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 21 Apr 15 / pending
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 28 600
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 22 Apr 15 / 72 500
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 21 Apr 15 / pending
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 21 Apr 15 / pending
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 21 Apr 15 / 10 700
Minnesota / Cottonwood / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 20 Apr 15 / 30 000
Iowa / Osceola / Mississippi / Commercial / Chickens / EA/AM-H5N2 / 20 Apr 15 / 3 800 000
Minnesota / Wadena / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 20 Apr 15 / 301 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 20 Apr 15 / 61 000
South Dakota / Spink / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 20 Apr 15 / 33 300
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 17 Apr 15 / 9 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 17 Apr 15 / 23 000
Wisconsin / Juneau / Mississippi / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 17 Apr 15 / 33
Minnesota / Roseau / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 16 Apr 15 / 26 000
Wisconsin / Barron / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 16 Apr 15 / 126 700
Minnesota / Kandiyoh / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 15 Apr 15 / 152 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 15 Apr 15 / 67 000
Minnesota / Otter Tail / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 15 Apr 15 / 21 000
South Dakota / Roberts / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 15 Apr 15 / 66 600
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 14 Apr 15 / 20 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 14 Apr 15 / 30 000
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 14 Apr 15 / 25 000
Minnesota / Redwood / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 14 Apr 15 / 56 000
Minnesota / Swift / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 14 Apr 15 / 154 000
Iowa / Buena Vista / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 13 Apr 15 / 27 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 13 Apr 15 / 76 000
Minnesota / Swift / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 13 Apr 15 / 160 000
Minnesota / Le Sueur / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 11 Apr 15 / 21 500
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 11 Apr 15 / 38 000
Wisconsin / Jefferson / Mississippi / Commercial / Chickens / EA/AM-H5N2 / 11 Apr 15 / 200 000
ND / Dickey / Central / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 10 Apr 15 / 40 000
South Dakota / McCook / Central / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 10 Apr 15 / 53 000
South Dakota / McPherson / Central / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 10 Apr 15 / 46 000
Minnesota / Cottonwood / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Apr 15 / 48 000
Minnesota / Lyon / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Apr 15 / 66 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Apr 15 / 45 000
Minnesota / Watonwan / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Apr 15 / 30 000
South Dakota / Kingsbury / Central / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 8 Apr 15 / 34 000
Minnesota / Meeker / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 7 Apr 15 / 310 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 7 Apr 15 / 30 000
Minnesota / Kandiyohi / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 4 Apr 15 / 26 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 4 Apr 15 / 76 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 2 Apr 15 / 71 000
Minnesota / Nobles / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 2 Apr 15 / 21 000
Montana / Judith Basin / Central / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 2 Apr 15 / 40
South Dakota / Beadle / Central / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 1 Apr 15 / 53 000
Minnesota / Stearns / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 28 Mar 15 / 39 000
Minnesota / Lac Qui Parle / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 27 Mar 15 / 66 000
Kansas / Leavenworth / Central / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 13 Mar 15 / 10
Arkansas / Boone / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 11 Mar 15 / 40 020
Missouri / Moniteau / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 10 Mar 15 / 13 850
Missouri / Jasper / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Mar 15 / 15 620
Minnesota / Pope / Mississippi / Commercial / Turkeys / EA/AM-H5N2 / 4 Mar 15 / 26 310
Oregon / Deschutes / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 17 Feb 15 / 70
California / Kings / Pacific / Commercial / Chicken / EA-H5N8 / 12 Feb 15 / 112 900
Washington / Okanogan / Pacific / Backyard / Chicken / EA/AM-H5N2 / 3 Feb 15 / 40
Washington / Okanogan / Pacific / Backyard / Pheasant / EA/AM-H5N2 / 29 Jan 15 / 5830
California / Stanislaus / Pacific / Commercial / Turkeys / EA-H5N8 / 23 Jan 15 / 134 400
Idaho / Canyon / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 16 Jan 15 / 30
Washington / Clallam / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 16 Jan 15 / 110
Washington / Benton / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 9 Jan 15 / 590
Washington / Benton / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA/AM-H5N2 / 3 Jan 15 / 140
Oregon / Douglas / Pacific / Backyard / Mixed poultry / EA -H5N8 / 19 Dec 14 / 130
Totals / / / / / / / 7 358 523
* References to EA and AM under avian influenza subtype indicate Eurasian and American strains of the virus.

Captive wild bird findings confirmed by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories
------------------------------------------------------------------
State / County / Species / Avian influenza subtype* / Confirmation date
Montana / Flathead / Captive gyrfalcon / EA/AM-H5N2 / 27 Mar 2015
Missouri / St Louis / Captive falcon (hybrid) / EA/AM-H5N2 / 27 Mar 2015
Idaho / Kootenai / Captive gyrfalcon (2) / EA-H5N8 / 29 Jan 2015
February 6, 2015
Idaho / Canyon / Captive falcons, Great horned owl / EA/AM-H5N2 / 16 Jan 2015
2 Feb 2015
Washington / Whatcom / Captive gyrfalcon / EA-H5N8 / 14 Dec 2014
* References to EA and AM under avian influenza subtype indicate Eurasian and American strains of the virus.

Wild bird findings confirmed by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories are available at http://1.usa.gov/15xZXSX.

Surveillance for avian influenza is ongoing in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations.

USDA is coordinating closely with its partners, including Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington State officials, the US Department of the Interior and the US Department of Health and Human Services, on avian influenza surveillance, reporting, and control efforts. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, where we actively look for the disease and provide 100 per cent compensation to affected producers to encourage reporting.

USDA continues to inform OIE and international trading partners of these findings. USDA is working with trading partners to minimize trade impacts on poultry and poultry products as much as possible.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, need to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state veterinarian or through USDA's toll-free number at 1-866-536-7

--
communicated by:
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<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[2] News report
Date: Wed 22 Apr 2015
Source: Bloomberg Business [edited]
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... -seen-safe


The US poultry industry may be facing the biggest outbreak of deadly bird flu in more than 3 decades, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health. "They are dealing with a level of exposure that is probably unprecedented back to the outbreak in 1983 in Delaware and Pennsylvania," said Brian Evans, a deputy director general at the Paris-based intergovernmental group known by its French acronym OIE.

New cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza were reported [Wed 22 Apr 2015] in Wisconsin, including 800 000 egg-laying hens, the 2nd-biggest chicken flock detected during the outbreak. The number of US commercial and backyard poultry flocks ravaged by the disease has climbed to more than 50.

An outbreak of another H5N2 virus in the north east in 1983 and 1984 resulted in the destruction of 17 million chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl to contain and eradicate the disease, according to the USDA. There's no risk from cooked meat or eggs in the current outbreak, Evans said in a telephone interview.

The OIE has reported various strains of bird flu in 26 countries across the globe since [1 Jan 2015], one of the most active years in terms of outbreaks since 2008, based on the group's data. The US and Canada have each reported 3 outbreaks.

The H5N2 strain has also been reported in Canada and parts of Asia, particularly Taiwan and China, Evans said. The genomic makeup "links it very closely" to a 2012 outbreak in Taiwan, he said. "It's a relatively stable strain that has been around for 3, 4 years globally in both wild birds and other populations," Evans said.

There have been no reported human cases related to the bird flu viruses circulating in North America, according to the World Health Organization. Human infections with avian influenza are "rare," though they can't be excluded, according to a WHO report on [Tue 21 Apr 2015].

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] "considers that the risk to the general public from these outbreaks to be low at this time," Alicia Fry of CDC said [Wed 22 Apr 2015] on a conference call alongside the USDA. "That said, human infections with similar avian influenza viruses have occurred, and it is possible that we may see human infections with the viruses" after the US outbreaks, said Fry, an epidemiology and prevention branch medical officer at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in the influenza division.

Taiwan researchers found elevated antibodies against H5N2 in 7 out of 141 people who had been in close contract with infected poultry in the 2012 outbreak, with 2 being the suspected result of subclinical infection.

Globally, "most human infections with avian influenza viruses have occurred in people with direct or close and prolonged contact with infected birds," Fry of CDC said. The 1st cases in the US and Canada were "no doubt" linked to migrating birds, probably waterfowl, passing a Mississippi River flyway, Evans of the OIE said. The subsequent increase probably involves both exposure to wild birds and sick poultry from neighboring farms, he said.

Measures to control the disease can include culling of infected birds and movement restrictions, or vaccination, and it's up to countries to decide how to respond, Evans said.

Zoning and movement controls have proven effective in the past, while vaccinations have to be targeted to virus strains that are circulating, and don't necessarily protect against other variants, he said.

"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," Fry said. These measures are "routine," she said.

A bird flu outbreak in the Netherlands that started in November [2014] and was contained by January [2015] through culls and transportation bans resulted in direct costs of 49 million to 56 million euros (USD 53 million to USD 60 million), according to agricultural researcher LEI Wageningen UR.

Controlling the disease will require "significant" cooperation between the US poultry industry and the government, according to Evans, who said the OIE has "every confidence" the US can contain the outbreak. "Lessons are being re-learned," Evans said. "There is a cost to biosecurity. If it's in your backyard and you're dealing with it, you pay a lot more attention."

Sonstegard Foods Co said on [Mon 20 Apr 2015] that the flu affected many of its 3.8 million egg-laying chickens at the Sunrise Farms unit in Osceola County, Iowa.

Wisconsin also said [Wed 22 Apr 2015] that flu was found in a flock of 87 000 turkeys in Jefferson County. 5 cases have been reported in the state. On [Mon 20 Apr 2015], Governor Scott Walker authorized the National Guard to assist authorities in containing the outbreak.

[byline: Rudy Ruitenberg]

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******
[3] Minnesota
Date: Wed 22 Apr 2015
Source: Litchfield Independent Review [edited]
http://www.crowrivermedia.com/independe ... 89123.html


The most devastating avian flu outbreak to sweep through Central Minnesota in years has baffled scientists, farmers and poultry companies trying to figure out how exactly it's getting into barns. "Nobody I've talked to has a good handle on how (the virus) works," said Dale Fenrich, who finances poultry farm sales and sells insurance policies to local turkey farmers. "It's the hottest kill they've ever had in the system."

The Department of Natural Resources [DNR] plans to visit Meeker County as soon as this week [week of 20 Apr 2015] to begin taking samples of waterfowl feces in an attempt to pinpoint the virus' location. Officials believe the virus, known as H5N2, entered the region through migrating waterfowl, such as geese and ducks, but it's a mystery why some barns are getting hit while others remain unscathed.

Meanwhile, the DNR is asking the public to stay alert and report any unusual bird die-offs. "If there's a cluster of 5 or more birds, we definitely want to hear about that," said Cory Netland, the region's DNR wildlife manager. The DNR is also asking wild turkey hunters to allow the DNR to take swab samples of their birds' trachea to test for the flu's presence.

The virus is known to kill turkeys within 48 hours, and an estimated 2.1 million birds statewide have either died from infection or been euthanized as a precautionary measure. Health officials say the virus poses a low risk to humans.

Most of Meeker County's turkey production takes place in Acton and Swede Grove townships, on the county's western edge. With 14 farms in Meeker County, Jennie-O Turkey is by far the area's largest producer, according to county feedlot records. Those 14 sites have permits to raise as many as 1 815 050 turkeys, while the next largest producer, Litchfield-based Langmo Farms, has 4 sites with a permitted maximum of 171 500 birds.

One of Jennie-O's sites in Meeker County with a confirmed infection had 310,000 birds -- the largest affected site in all of Minnesota, according to US Department of Agriculture. The Minnesota Animal Health Board's website lists the farm as having been euthanized.

The only farm site listed in feedlot records as having more than 300,000 birds is the Jennie-O Wilcox Lake Farm on State Highway 4, north of Grove City, though the Independent Review has not verified whether the Wilcox site has been affected by avian flu.

The next largest sites in Meeker County, listed as having more than 200 000 turkeys, include 2 Jennie-O farms in Action Township, known as the Buffalo Run and Galaxy Brood farms, according to feedlot records.

When infections occur, the USDA and the Animal Health Board issues alerts identifying flock sizes and counties in which infections are confirmed. But the agencies do not identify the farm's owner or reveal the location, and state law treats turkey farm addresses and other data obtained by the Animal Health Board as private information.

Some farms volunteer more detailed information, and Jennie-O posts some information on its website. According to Jennie-O, 2 cases of avian flu in Meeker County occurred at barns owned by Jennie-O, with a 3rd Meeker County case occurring at a farm owned by an independent contractor.

Throughout the state, Jennie-O has reported 18 confirmed cases at its farm sites. The total number of cases confirmed statewide is 31, including three new cases reported [Tue 21 Apr 2015].

When avian flu is detected at a farm, the farm is placed under quarantine, meaning turkeys cannot enter or leave the affected area. All turkeys at an affected farm are euthanized by covering the birds with a firefighting foam, which suffocates them. The birds are then composted and wood chips are added to help generate heat and accelerate the composting. Barns are then cleaned out and disinfected before any new turkeys can be introduced. The entire process takes about six weeks, after which the farm can return to production.

The USDA compensates farmers for birds which are euthanized, but not for birds killed by the virus itself. The compensation amount depends on the type of turkey and its fair market value.

The Independent Review contacted Jennie-O officials last week [week of 13 Apr 2015] and submitted questions in an email to the company. A company official declined to answer questions, stating the company was in a "quiet period" related to its second quarter earnings report scheduled for [20 May 2015].

Hormel Foods, parent company of Jennie-O, announced [Tue 21 Apr 2015] the avian flu would reduce turkey sales and "pressure earnings" during this year's [2015] 2nd half. "We are experiencing significant challenges in our turkey supply chain due to the recent HPAI (avian flu) outbreaks in Minnesota and Wisconsin," stated Jeffrey M Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.

According to Fenrich, farmers and industry officials are frustrated particularly because the virus has infected flocks inside barns with stringent biosecurity measures. A leading theory among industry officials is that high wind speeds are helping to spread the virus, Fenrich said last week [week of 13 Apr 2015], essentially blowing contaminated particles into barns. "That's what they're all saying," Fenrich said of his conversation with farmers and poultry executives.

The owner of Langmo Farms in Litchfield, considers his operations as having high biosecurity standards, which include reducing traffic in the turkey barns, having employees change clothing and footwear between turkey barns, and even having employees shower between visits to different turkey barns.

"Turkey farmers are really clean people," he said during an interview earlier this month [April 2015]. "I'm probably showering 4 times a day. I wash my truck probably 3 or 4 times a week. You have to."

Contacted on [Tue 21 Apr 2015], [the farmer] said he agreed high winds appear to be the primary culprit in spreading the disease. No scientific evidence confirms his suspicions, he noted, but the randomness of virus' spread -- hitting some barns and farms while skipping others -- points toward wind as the problem. "It's just not reasonable that all these farms are having biosecurity breaches," he said.

Asked what steps could be taken to prevent wind from blowing into barns, he said, "If I knew, I would be really rich." A possible pathway for wind to enter a barn is through its ventilation system, which is needed to maintain a healthy environment for the turkeys. "If you turn the ventilation off, they're all dead," he noted.

[The farmer] questioned whether euthanizing all turkeys at an affected farm is necessary given the apparent randomness of confirmed cases, and evidence indicating farms have succeeded in preventing the virus' "horizontal" spread, meaning from barn to barn. [He] advocated for euthanizing birds only in barns that have tested positive for the virus [and added] that euthanizing all birds at an affected farm puts a financial hardship on producers. While farmers are compensated for any birds euthanized that are not sick, producers face ongoing costs while their barns sit empty for weeks waiting to be restocked, he said.

A researcher at the University of Minnesota said H5N2 is unlike any previous avian flue strains introduced to North America. Describing the virus as "completely, completely weird," Professor Carol Cardona said she's not sure how the strain is spreading or what biosecurity measures can thwart it. "The public wants us to know more than we know," she said. "All we can say is we don't know. This is unprecedented."

Researchers do know the virus is highly pathogenic. One milligram of infected feces contains the equivalent of 10 infectious doses, Cardona noted. "Does it get walked in? Does it get blown in? Does it get picked up by a small bird that goes through a hole in a screen?" she said, noting that multiple factors may be to blame for the virus' spread. She added, "We just don't know what biosecurity (measures) are working to keep it out of most of our 600 turkey farms (in Minnesota)."

In working with the USDA and Animal Health Board to learn more about the virus' spread, the DNR plans to collect samples within a 10 km [6 mi] radius of affected farms, and those samples will be sent to a laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, to test for the virus' presence. A total of 3000 samples are expected to be taken statewide, according to Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program supervisor. As of [Tue 21 Apr 2015], 908 samples had tested negative for avian flu virus. 5 tested positive, but further testing is needed to determine whether the strain is H5N2, she said.

H5N2 is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, according a USDA veterinarian. Dr John Clifford said last week [week of 13 Apr 2015] the virus could stay in the region for years, causing the most problems during cool months. Heat kills off the virus, and producers are likely to find relief during summer months.

Poultry companies and government officials are quick to note that the virus has affected only a small percentage of turkeys both state- and nationwide, but uncertainty surrounding the virus' transmission is creating stress for producers. Because so little is known about the virus, concerns and debates within the poultry industry are changing daily, Fenrich said. One poultry executive summed up the situation in telling Fenrich that the company's employees "were in crisis mode last week and catastrophe mode this week."

Routine practices, such as restocking farms with new turkeys, are now under scrutiny, Fenrich said. Under normal circumstances, turkeys leave farms for market and are replaced with new, younger birds to be raised. But there is debate among officials whether it's safe to introduce turkeys into any farm located within a 10 km [6 mi] quarantined area, or "hot zone," Fenrich said. "They're worried about these birds getting sick again," Fenrich said of discussions among industry and government officials.

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ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[The state Minnesota of can be located on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/354. A county map can be seen at http://geology.com/county-map/minnesota-county-map.gif. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ

The chart above regarding flyways and strains is very interesting.

The debate about the wind and wild birds is one likely to continue and both sides of this position will continue to collect "data". And likely as not, this question may not be solved for some time yet. - Mod.TG]
See Also
Avian influenza (95): Canada (ON) poultry; HPAI H5N2 20150424.3319119
Avian influenza (94): USA (IA) HPAI H5N2, poultry 20150423.3316416
Avian influenza (91): USA (MN,WI) HPAI H5N2, turkey : 20150422.3313679
Avian influenza (87): USA, HPAI H5N2, turkey, poultry 20150418.3305689
Avian influenza (86): USA (WI) HPAI H5N2, turkeys, poultry 20150417.3303404
Avian influenza (82): USA, HPAI, H5N2, poultry 20150416.3300808
Avian influenza (80): USA, HPAI H5N2, turkey, poultry 20150415.3298419
Avian influenza (76): USA (MN, SD) HPAI, H5N2, turkey 20150413.3293606
Avian influenza (74): USA (MN,ND) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150412.3292191
Avian influenza (68): USA (MN,SD) HPAI H5N2, turkey 20150405.3277704
Avian influenza (67): USA (MT) HPAI H5N2, poultry 20150405.3277671
Avian influenza (64): USA (MT) HPAI H5N2, falcon 20150401.3271195
Avian influenza (63): USA (WY) HPAI H5N2, goose 20150331.3267533
Avian influenza (59): USA (MN): turkey, H5N2 20150329.3264089
Avian influenza (54): USA (CA) poultry, LPAI H7N3, OIE 20150319.3241143
Avian influenza (50): USA (AR) turkey, H5N2 20150313.3227033
Avian influenza (49): USA (MO) turkey, H5N2 20150312.3223765
Avian influenza (39): USA (OR) backyard flock 20150215.3167658
Avian influenza (38): USA (ID) 20150213.3161063
Avian influenza (34): USA (WA) hobby birds 20150204.3141350
Avian influenza (29): USA (WA) game birds 20150130.3132628
Avian influenza (17): USA (WA) wild duck, HPAI H5N1, OIE 20150122.3109001
Avian influenza (16): USA (WA, ID) HPAI H5N2, H5N8 20150121.3107002
Avian influenza (09): USA (UT) H5N8, wild duck 20150115.3094193
Avian influenza (08): USA (CA) HPAI H5N8, wild bird 20150115.3093306
Avian influenza (02): USA (WA) HPAI H5N2, backyard flock 20150110.3083028
Avian influenza (01): USA (WA) backyard poultry, HPAI H5N2, OIE 20150109.3082193
2014
---
Avian influenza (112): USA (WA) wild birds, HPAI H5N8, H5N2 20141218.3040607
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
.................................................tg/mj/sh

http://promedmail.org/direct.php?id=20150424.3319118

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