The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reports the confirmation of of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial, backyard flock (non-poultry) in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska.
Samples from the flock were confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. This makes Alaska the 31st state to report at least one confirmed infected flock.
APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in Alaska on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the public health risk associated with these avian influenza detections in birds remains low.
Prior to this report, the United States has reported 251 confirmed flocks affecting over 35 million birds.
34 states have reported H5N1 viruses in wild birds.
Avian influenza (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 which circulate within flyways/geographic regions. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity (low or high)—the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic poultry.
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