Waterfowl testing finds high-path H5 avian flu in 3 more states
Federal health officials have announced 45 more high-pathogenic H5 avian flu detections in waterfowl, including the first involving wild birds in Alabama, Maine, and New Jersey in the recent spread of the virus. Also, officials reported two more outbreaks involving other types of birds in New York.
The new waterfowl detections lift the number reported in the United States to 297, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Of the 45 new detections, 21 were from testing of live birds from Cape May County in New Jersey, located on the southern tip of the state on the Atlantic shore. The new reports also include the first from Alabama, which involved a hunter-harvested bird from Limestone County, which borders Tennessee and is on the Tennessee River.
Maine, which has already reported the virus in Knox County poultry, reported its first detections in waterfowl, which involved live testing in birds from Washington County, located in the east on the Atlantic shore.
Meanwhile, earlier affected states reported more detections in waterfowl, including Kentucky (Henderson and Meade counties) and Connecticut (New Haven County).
In related developments, APHIS reported two more detections in other bird settings, both in New York. One involved backyard birds of mixed species in Dutchess County, which is in the southeastern part of the state near the Connecticut border. The other involved captive wild birds in neighboring Ulster County.
The outbreaks in waterfowl and other birds are part of ongoing Eurasian H5N1 activity under way, mainly across the Atlantic seaboard. However, the virus has already turned up at poultry farms in inland states, including Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Federal and state officials have ramped up testing, which includes all migratory bird flyways.
USDA APHIS wild bird avian flu page
USDA APHIS poultry and other bird settings page
H5N6 avian flu infects 4 more people in China, 1 fatally
China has reported four more H5N6 avian flu infections in humans, one of them fatal and all in people who had exposure to poultry or had visited a live-bird market, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said today.
The patients are from four different provinces, with illness-onset dates from Jan 20 to 28. They include a 46-year-old man from Fujian province who died on Feb 10. Two others are also adults, one of them a 48-year-old man from Sichuan province and a 35-year-old man from Guangxi province. Both are were hospitalized within a few days of symptom onset and are listed in critical condition.
The fourth patient is a 6-year-old girl from Jiangsu province who was hospitalized on Jan 25 and is in critical condition. Most of the country's earlier H5N6 infections, known to be severe or fatal, were in adults.
China has now reported 71 H5N6 infections since 2014. Last year, the country reported a dramatic uptick in cases. This year, officials already have recorded 9 such cases.
Feb 28 Hong Kong CHP statement