The first case of the most recent outbreak of H5N2 avian influenza in the United States was confirmed in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington, in December 2014.
To date, more than 48 million birds in the United States have been affected by avian influenza since December 2014.
Last month, the World Organisation for Animal Health said the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza outbreak that first struck the United States in December 2014 and continued to affect U.S. poultry flocks through June is considered to be resolved. According to a recent OIE report, the H5N2 avian influenza outbreaks in Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin are now “final, closed, and resolved.” OIE further stated that in accordance with its Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter 10.4, the U.S. has completely fulfilled the necessary actions and surveillance requirements to self-declare itself free of H5N2 avian influenza.
However, last week, Eurasian H5 avian influenza was found in genetic material collected from a wild mallard duck tested in Morrow County, Oregon, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported on December 4. According to a press release from the agency, tests conducted in November on those samples from the duck were unable to determine the exact strain of the virus or whether it was of the high pathogenic or low pathogenic variety. The bird was tested as part of APHIS’ continued efforts to prepare for any potential findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza. APHIS and its partners worked throughout the fall to put plans in place to address the disease, should it resurface in the United States. Samples have been collected from both hunter-harvested birds and from wild bird mortalities.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington. However, avian influenza has not been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States, the agency stated.