USA becomes the eighth country confirming HPAI H5N8 in poultry

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On Dec. 18, 2014, The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in guinea fowl and chickens from a small backyard poultry flock in Winston, Oregon. The announcement declares that the flock of approximately 100 birds has access to the outdoors and migratory birds frequent a pond and a marsh on the premises.

Winston is located nearly 619 km from the Whatcom county (Washington State) where HPAI H5N8 was previously identified in a captive wild gyrfalcon that was fed with wild birds. These events highlight the potential dispersion of the virus as well the importance of risk factors such as outdoor holdings of poultry and the proximity of poultry premises to waterfowl settlements. This is the first time a Eurasian lineage highly pathogenic H5 virus has caused an outbreak of avian influenza in poultry in North America.

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