H5N2 turns up in Kentucky wild birds

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
Apr 28, 2015

The H5N2 avian influenza virus has made its Kentucky debut with a detection in two wild waterfowl, federal officials announced today, signaling the pathogen’s easternmost appearance in the United States.

In addition, Wisconsin reported its seventh H5 avian flu outbreak, on a Barron County turkey farm, while Minnesota’s H5N2 outbreak count climbed to 56 with another turkey event in Stearns County.

Kentucky discovery
The H5N2 virus was found in a dead goose and duck in McCracken County, near Kentucky’s western tip, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced.

Kentucky is the easternmost state to report the virus, although it has struck three poultry farms in southern Ontario, not far from Toronto. The find brings it closer to big poultry-producing areas on the East Coast, including Delaware and Maryland.

H5N2 has also been reported in wild birds, mostly waterfowl, in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Missouri, Kansas, and Wyoming in the past few months, according to a USDA list of detections. In addition, the virus has been found in captive raptors in Missouri, Montana, Idaho, and Washington, according to a separate USDA list.

Samples from the Kentucky birds were tested by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia and confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, the agency said.

Wisconsin and Minnesota outbreaks

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