Fujian H5N2 Confirmations Accelerate In US Midwest

Friday, April 3, 2015
By Paul Martin

April 3, 2015

The above table from the APHIS April 2 update on avian influenza includes the 4 locations where H5N2 was confirmed on April 2. The table shows the dramatic acceleration in detections, as wild birds increase migration north through the Midwest. The 12 confirmations began on March 4, followed by one wave between March 9-13 (4 outbreaks in 3 states) and another wave between March 27 to April 2 (6 outbreaks in 3 states, with a concentration in Minnesota) – see H5N2 map.

Minnesota is the largest producers of domestic turkeys, which now has 5 confirmed farms in 4 counties. The detection on March 4, five days before the March 9-13 wave led to media reports citing “experts” who claimed that the initial cases signaled a movement from north to south or west to east, which were inconsistent with wild bird migration patterns. However, these “jumps” and interpretations were heavily dependent on the absence of wild bird reports in the Midwest, where surveillance was in the routine mode.

In contrast, and enhanced surveillance mode in western states confirmed Fujian clade H5 in 49 wild birds (H5N8, H5N2, H5N1) with collection dates in December and January. The new cases in the administrative Pacific Flyway abruptly ended in January when hunting season ended, because the surveillance large targeted hunter killed birds which were swabbed within 24 hours of death. The number of confirmations continued after the hunting season ended because confirmations were delayed and the “new” confirmations were of samples collected during hunting season, but reported at the APHIS site and in OIE reports when confirmed.

The Rest…HERE

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