High-path AI detected in Montana wild duck

U.S. poultry officials say the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a wild duck in central Montana comes as no surprise.

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association executive director Steve Olson tells Brownfield wild bird experts predict the H5N2 virus will be present up to five years.

“We first experienced it two years ago, and the fact that it’s still here is not a surprise.”

The mallard that tested positive for avian flu was recently harvested as part of routine federal surveillance, prompting USDA Chief Veterinarian Jack Shere to remind producers the virus remains a threat.

Olson agrees.

“On the one hand, it doesn’t change what we’re doing because we’ve been preparing as if this virus is going to be coming back.  So it does provide a reminder to poultry farmers that the virus is still out there (so) remain diligent in biosecurity practices, as well as training for their employees.”

The H5N2 strain responsible for the avian flu outbreak in the U.S. two years ago is similar to the H5N8 virus currently spreading across parts of Europe and Asia.

Olson says both are highly pathogenic and fatal to poultry.



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