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H5 Detected in Washington State
Recombinomics Commentary
October 4, 2006

Don Kraege, waterfowl section manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said about 525 samples from wild bird have been taken since testing started in July.

And Roger Woodruff, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Office for Washington and Alaska, said his agency has collected 300 samples so far.

Both reported finding some H5 detections

The above comments indicate H5 has been detected in Washington state and possibly Alaska.  These findings are not a surprise.  H5N1 has been detected in Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Montana.  In addition, H5 has been detected in New Jersey and California.  In several instances, the reports on H5N1 indicated additional samples that were positive for H5 but negative for N1 have been found, suggesting additional H5 serotypes were being detected but not reported.

Last year Canada reported detection of H5N2, H5N3, and H5N9 in addition to H5N1.  This year Quebec has reported H5N2 and H5N6.  Canada has indicated that this year’s result mirrors last year, suggesting many additional H5 serotypes were being detected this year.  The report from southern Canada last suggests H5 has been in the United States in 2005 in addition to 2006.

H5 has been found in dead birds on Prince Edward Island as well as Lakeport, California. More detail on the PEI isolate was not forthcoming, but the H5 positive goose was one of four that died suddenly after displaying bird flu symptoms.  The H5 in California is undergoing further analysis.

The frequent detection of H5 in Canada and the United States in 2005 and 2006 was unexpected. 

Sequence data on the recent isolates would be useful.

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