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USDA confirms H5N2 infection in Osceola County

By Staff | Apr 23, 2015

DES MOINES (IDALS) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza at a commercial laying facility in Osceola County.

The facility has 5.3 million hens and is the second confirmed case in the state.

The Center for Disease Control and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

No human infections with the virus have ever been detected.

The flock experienced increased mortality and as a result samples were sent to the South Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for preliminary testing.

The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, confirmed the findings.

NVSL is the only internationally recognized avian influenza reference laboratory in the U.S.

USDA APHIS is working closely with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on a joint incident response.

State officials quarantined the premise and birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

The U.S. has the strongest avian influenza surveillance program in the world.

As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners, as well as industry, are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following five-step response. These are:

  • Quarantine: Restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area
  • Eradication: Humanely euthanizing the affected flocks.
  • Monitor region: Testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area.
  • Disinfecting: Kills the virus in the affected flock locations.
  • Testing: Confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.

IDALS and the IDPH are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure proper precautions are being taken.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds 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.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to the state veterinarian at (515) 281-5321.

Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

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