Avian flu continues to spread: nine new cases announced

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, April 14, 2015 - The Department of Agriculture confirmed nine new cases of the H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) today including the first instance of the disease in Iowa. The disease has now reached 12 states since first appearing in the Pacific Northwest in January.

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Eight of the nine 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 nine 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 first appeared in Minnesota in early March. In the last week, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota have all had their first 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, 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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