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Fujian H5N2 In US Central Flyway In Leavenworth Kansas
Recombinomics Commentary
March 14, 2015 13:00

March 13, 2015 -- The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard chicken and duck flock in Leavenworth County, Kansas. This is the first finding of HPAI in the Central flyway.

The above comments describe the USDA confirmation of H5N2 at a back yard farm in Leavenworth County, Kansas (see H5N2 map).  This confirmation follows four March bird flu confirmations of H5N2 in commercial turkey arms in the Mississippi flyway (Boone County, Arkansas March 11; Japer County, Missouri March 10; Moniteau County, Missouri March 9; Pope County, Minnesota March 4), signaling a serious surveillance failure, since no wild bird confirmation in the Mississippi or Central flyways have been reported.

Prior wild bird surveillance targeted the Pacific Flyway, where 36 wild bird confirmations have been reported (including H5N8, H5N2, and H5N1), largely due to testing of hunter killed birds.  The wild bird confirmations have been  limited to December and January collection due to the end of duck hunting season.

The failure to testing in the Central or Mississippi flyways has now led to wild speculation that wild birds are not responsible for the recent outbreaks in the Midwest, which is unfortunate.

A wild bird surveillance in these flyways, especially in southern states where migration north begins, is long overdue.

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