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H5N2 Eurasian / North American Reassortant Confirmed In Montana Mallard

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NOTICE: USDA Detects Eurasian lineage H5 Avian Influenza in a Wild Mallard Duck in Montana

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has detected the presence of Eurasian/North American reassortant H5N2 avian influenza in a wild mallard duck in Fergus County, Montana. No illness or mortalities in domestic poultry in the U.S. have been detected.

The sample, taken from a hunter-harvested bird through routine surveillance, was tested at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and forwarded to USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. Characterization of the sample is ongoing.

“This appears to be one of the strains we saw during the outbreak in 2014 and 2015,” said Dr. Jack Shere, USDA’s Chief Veterinarian. “This finding serves as a powerful reminder that there is still HPAI circulating in wild birds, and producers and industry need to continue to be vigilant about biosecurity to protect domestic poultry.”

Wild migratory waterfowl are a natural reservoir for avian influenza, and these viruses can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to the general public from these H5 High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) infections to be low.  No human infections have occurred in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI.

The United States has the strongest avian influenza (AI) surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations. 

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. To facilitate such a review, a biosecurity self-assessment can be found at http://www.uspoultry.org/animal_husbandry/intro.cfm.

USDA recently launched Defend the Flock, a new educational campaign that provides commercial poultry owners and growers, as well as the poultry industry and federal/state/local animal health officials, resources to help ensure that the best biosecurity practices are used to protect commercial flocks from infectious disease. Defend the Flock information can be found at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock.

Hunters should dress game birds in the field whenever possible and practice good biosecurity to prevent any potential disease spread.  Biosecurity information is available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/2015/fsc_hpai_hunters.pdf. In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

Additional Background

AI is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1–H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1–N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and can be further broken down into different strains. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity (low or high)—the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.

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Highly pathogenic influenza A viruses (infection with) (non-poultry and wild birds),
United States of America
 
Information received on 10/01/2017 from Dr John Clifford, Official Delegate, Chief Trade Advisor, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
Summary
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 27/12/2016
Date of confirmation of the event 09/01/2017
Report date 09/01/2017
Date submitted to OIE 10/01/2017
Reason for notification Reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 10/11/2016
Manifestation of disease Sub-clinical infection
Causal agent Highly pathogenic influenza A virus
Serotype H5N2
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Fergus County, Fergus, MONTANA
Date of start of the outbreak 27/12/2016
Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit Not applicable
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Mallard:Anas platyrhynchos(Anatidae)          
Affected population Wild mallard duck
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Destroyed Slaughtered
Mallard:Anas platyrhynchos(Anatidae)   **      
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Mallard:Anas platyrhynchos(Anatidae) ** ** ** **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Epidemiology
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Contact with wild species
Epidemiological comments The sample, from a wild mallard duck, was collected on 27 December 2016 as part of the hunter – harvested wild bird avian influenza surveillance program. Genome sequencing results show that the Montana isolate is an Eurasian/American (EA/AM) H5N2 HPAI strain. The partial genome fragments that have been analyzed thus far are >99% similar to the virus isolated from a northern pintail duck in Washington State in December 2014. The H5N2 outbreak viruses from 2015 were all >99% similar to the northern pintail index case (A/Northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014 H5N2). Efforts to obtain sequence data for the full genome are underway. This detection of HPAI (EA/AM) H5N2 virus in a wild bird is NOT associated with any commercial poultry in the United States.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Services (National laboratory) Mallard gene sequencing 09/01/2017 Positive
National Veterinary Services (National laboratory) Mallard real-time reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) 05/01/2017 Positive
National Veterinary Services (National laboratory) Mallard virus isolation   Pending
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations
 

http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Reviewreport/Review?page_refer=MapFullEventReport&reportid=22231

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