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Fujian H5N8 In Backyard Holding In Winston Oregon
Recombinomics Commentary
December 19, 2014 21:00

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

The above comments for a USDA announcement cite the confirmation of H5N8 in a backyard holding in Winston, Oregon (see map).  As noted, the chickens and guinea fowl had outdoor access to a pond and marsh frequented by migratory birds.
The recent deaths of four falcons in Lynden, Washington were linked to a widgeon, signaling the presence of H5N8 in wild birds further north.  The H5 and N8 relatedness to early 2014 isolates from South Korea confirmed that the H5N8 was more closely related to the H5N8 currently circulating in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, England, and Italy) as well as Japan, which is Fujian clade 2.3.4 which has three genes segments (H5, PA, MP) from H5N1.

Five of the eight gene segments in H5N8 are present in the H5N2 in the 11 farms in British Columbia.  That novel reassortant also has 3 gene segments from North American wild birds, including N2.

The detection of H5N8 in Winston, Oregon signals further migration and near term detection in California is expected.

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