USDA’s Animal Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the state of Illinois involving commercial turkeys.
The infections in Wayne County affected 18,200 turkeys and represented the first confirmed HPAI outbreaks in Illinois since Dec. 21 and bring the number of commercial and wild birds affected by HPAI to approximately 27,210 since March of last year.
Meanwhile, a total of 111,300 birds in Pennsylvania tested positive for HPAI in the last week, including 97,700 commercial broilers in Lancaster County, APHIS reported. The agency’s totals include 9,400 birds in Pennsylvania confirmed with HPAI since Feb. 23.
The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) already has a Level 1 alert in place that requires notification of the death of wild birds or suspicious illnesses in poultry or captive birds. Level 2 preparedness includes increased monitoring or sampling to protect birds kept in captivity, while Level 3 becomes the standard when an HPAI infection is confirmed and biosecurity efforts are increased.
MAST officials also closely monitor the spread of HPAI worldwide, especially in nations where migratory birds spend the winter months, the agency noted on its website.
WHO notes human HPAI infections in Western Pacific Region
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that while there were no new cases of human infection of the H5N1 virus that causes avian influenza between Feb. 17 and Feb. 23, a total of 240 cases of human HPAI infections have been confirmed in four Pacific nations since 2003.
Vietnam reported the highest number of human infections in the last 20 years (127), followed by Cambodia (56), China (54) and Laos (3) with a total of 135 deaths in the Western Pacific Region.
Public health officials note that when HPAI is confirmed in poultry, there is a “risk for sporadic infection and small clusters of human cases” in the wake of exposure to infected poultry or contaminated environments, WHO reported.
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