Low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected at live poultry markets in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).

Joelle Hayden, public affairs specialist, confirmed with CIDRAP that an H5 variant of the virus had been detected in the three states during routine testing. She added that low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) occurrences are not uncommon in backyard flocks and live bird markets.

The news of the avian influenza detections in the northeastern United States comes just days after H5N2 LPAI was found at a duck farm near St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Response to US LPAI detections

Animal health authorities are conducting trace-back and testing at markets that have epidemiologic links to the affected markets, Hayden said. APHIS manages a joint system with states and the poultry industry to control low-pathogenic H5 and H7 in live-bird market systems and that states participating in the program have APHIS-approved response plans, she added.

APHIS’ confirmation of low-pathogenic viruses in samples from live-bird markets prompts market closures; depopulation or selling down of poultry, if appropriate; and cleaning and disinfection.

Affected markets are required to pass inspections before reopening.