Two more counties in Wisconsin have fallen prey to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N2 strain which continues its exponential race across the Mississippi flyway, along which this infection has been gaining momentum. According to the report in Madison, this new outbreak, affecting the Barron and Juneau counties, have put almost 126,000 heads of poultry at risk.
Although this disease seems to be highly infectious and has a very high case fatality rate, it has not yet made the species jump at similar proportions and is believed to be of little infectivity and virulence to man.
A chicken farm in Wisconsin has been added to the tally of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N2 hit areas, while more turkey farms have been added to the ongoing spread of HPAI H5N2 in South Dakota and Minnesota. A detailed report has been hosted by the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
For some time it has been believed that the H5N2 virus was less lethal to wild birds which hosted the virus and was eventually spread to the poultry through their fecal matter. However, given how rapidly this outbreak is expanding, and, more importantly, popping up in geographically distant areas, this hypothesis needs to be revisited. This virus was also being considered less virulent for chicken, but the involvement of a chicken farm is starting to raise doubts about this too.
Moreover, the South Dakota farms that have been affected share a common processing hub, indicating that there is reason to believe that this could be a point source epidemic.
More information shall come to light when the epidemiological investigations are completed. Till then one can follow this outbreak with some interest to figure out what is going on!
Iowa has become the 16th state in the United States of America to report the occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a turkey farm with a flock strength of 27,000. Further to the north, in Minnesota, eight more farms have had cases of HPAI, and the 22 cases thus far detected have originated from a total flock size of over 500,000 in these nine sites.
These affected flock lie within the Minnesota flyway, which has been previously implicated in the outbreak of H5N2 HPAI. To know more on this matter, check out The Outbreak News Today blog.
Twenty nine farms in Ontario, Canada have been placed under quarantine after H5 avian influenza was confirmed, on a turkey farm.
More details (though very non-specific and vague) maybe accessed at this news link: The Star.
Though the complete type is not mentioned in the article, it is likely to be H5N2, a highly pathogenic strain, which has been doing the rounds this year. The article mentions that a “control zone” has been established, which means that there is a possibility of containing the spread within this zone. Even in December 2014, large parts of British Columbia were placed under a control zone to stop the spread of avian influenza.
It shall be interesting to see how this outbreak pans out.