It is amazing how little attention this story is gathering. I wonder why? The poultry lobby? A bored public? Avian flu overdose? It is curious.
Four more outbreaks of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in the United States, as the growing epidemic continues. The outbreaks are added to the rising number of avian flu detections in the hardest-hit states of Minnesota and Iowa.
There have now been a mind-numbing 174 detections of avian flu in the US since it was 1st found in December 2014, and the total number of birds affected is a whopping 38,946,573. To be clear that is 38 MILLION birds that have been or will be destroyed.
The latest 4 detections of the disease confirmed by US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service occurred on 2 commercial turkey farms, 1 commercial chicken farm and 1 backyard flock of mixed poultry.
The locations of these confirmed avian flu cases are:
- Minnesota, Kandiyohi county – 42 600 commercial turkeys;
- Minnesota, Renville county – 625 500 commercial chickens;
- Iowa, Sac county – 28 400 commercial turkeys;
- Iowa, Sioux county – backyard mixed poultry, number pending.
These cases all occurred in the Mississippi flyway. The 2 latest outbreaks bring the number of detections in Iowa to 51, affecting 26,634,900 birds—over 66% of the cases!
The Iowa State Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has announced that they are also looking into several unconfirmed outbreaks of HPAI. The unconfirmed cases include commercial turkey and pullet farms as well as egg laying operations. They were found in Sioux, Buena Vista, Sac, and Calhoun counties. These additional detections are likely to take the tally [of outbreaks] in Iowa to 62. The department said they have quarantined the premises and once the presence of the disease is confirmed, all birds on the properties will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
Minnesota has detected 84 outbreaks, affecting 5,116,260 birds. The latest outbreaks were found some days before confirmation, but the Minnesota state government said that it has not received any new reports of presumed avian flu cases for 5 straight days, as of May 20, 2015. The state government also stated that the 1st round of backyard flock surveillance, testing and observation in all control areas is complete, with nearly 4000 backyard flocks now tested for avian influenza or monitored for signs of the disease. However, to date, only 1 backyard flock has tested positive for HPAI in Minnesota.