Veterinary officials in the United States today reported a presumptive low-pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza outbreak at a commercial turkey farm in Missouri, according to a notification today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Routine tests found virus in healthy flock
The virus was detected during routine preslaughter tests on Feb 26 for H5 and H7 viruses, and no signs of clinical illness or an increase in turkey deaths were reported at the farm. Jasper County is in southwestern Missouri.
The farm where the virus was detected houses 20,000 birds, which will be depopulated through controlled marketing, a strategy that allows poultry that are infected with or exposed to low-pathogenic H5 and H7 viruses to move to market on a limited basis, according to state response plans.
Tests are slated to further characterize the virus, based on virus isolation. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are conducting an in-depth epidemiological investigation and have stepped up surveillance and testing. Two other commercial poultry farms located within 10 kilometers of the farm have tested negative for the virus.
Missouri's outbreak marks the first detection of low-pathogenic H7 in the United States this year. In the early spring of 2017, four southeastern states—Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee—reported outbreaks of low-pathogenic H7N9 in poultry. The strain isn't related to the H7N9 virus circulating in China.
China reports H5N6, H7N9 as low-path H5N2 hits French farms
In international avian flu developments, China's agriculture ministry reported an H5N6 outbreak in Guangxi province and a highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreak in Shaanxi province. The developments were noted in an agriculture ministry statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog, and in a notification from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The H5N6 outbreak in Guangxi province, located in southern China at the border with Vietnam, began Feb 22, striking a duck breeding farm near the city of Guilin. The outbreak apparently killed 23,950 birds. A remaining 30,462 birds are slated for culling as part of the response to the event.
Meanwhile, a highly pathogenic outbreak in the middle of February struck chickens at a location in Shaanxi province in central China, killing 810 birds, according to the FAO report.
Mar 6 OIE report on low-pathogenic H7N1 in Missouri
Mar 6 AFD post
Mar 5 FAO notification
Mar 5 OIE report on low-path H5N2 in France