A second turkey farm in South Dakota has been hit by the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 virus, a week after the state's first outbreak was reported, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today, adding to the rising toll of H5N2 incidents in the Midwest.
The virus surfaced on a farm in east-central South Dakota's Kingsbury County, which lies just east of Beadle County, the site of an outbreak reported Apr 2.
The farm has been quarantined, and the 34,000 turkeys housed there will be destroyed to keep the virus from spreading, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said.
The statement didn't say how many birds were killed by the virus, but increased deaths in the flock prompted testing at the South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory. The results were confirmed by APHIS's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
Other Midwest activity
The new H5N2 outbreaks follows nine turkey-farm outbreaks in Minnesota since early March, along with two outbreaks in Missouri and one in Arkansas. The virus also was found in a backyard poultry flock in Kansas in March. Earlier in the winter it popped up in several western states.
The virus has not been known to infect humans, but the South Dakota Department of Health is advising poultry workers on precautions against any risk, the USDA said.
In related developments, a US report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday noted the detection of H5N2 in a captive falcon in St. Louis, Mo., and in a wild Canada goose in Lyon County in east-central Kansas. The falcon was a peregrine-gyrfalcon hybrid, the report said. It gave no information on how the bird was infected.
The same report also included information on the Beadle County, S.D., outbreak, several of the recent Minnesota outbreaks, and wild-bird and backyard flock detections in Montana, all of which had been reported previously in the media.
H7N3 in Mexico
Also today, Mexico reported outbreaks of HPAI H7N3 avian flu in two backyard flocks in two southern states, Oaxaca and Puebla. Of 524 birds in the two flocks, 94 died and the rest were destroyed to stop further spread, officials told the OIE.
The report said the virus was identified as H7N3 on Mar 9 and that there is no known link between the two sites. The types of poultry in the two flocks were not identified.
In 2012 and 2013 Mexico was hit by dozens of H7N3 outbreaks that forced the culling of millions of birds in several states, including Puebla.
Apr 9 USDA APHIS statement
Apr 2 CIDRAP News story on previous South Dakota outbreak
Apr 8 OIE report on several US outbreaks
Apr 9 OIE report on H7N3 in Mexico
May 8, 2013, CIDRAP News item on Mexican H7N3 outbreaks