Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a commercial chicken flock in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today.
The flock of 200,000 chickens is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified.
Samples from the chicken flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States. APHIS is working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the 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.
CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.
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.