Two new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on the Delmarva Peninsula – one in Delaware and one in Maryland -- have been confirmed.
The two states jointly announced the situation via a press release issued on March 9.
One of the cases involved a commercial broiler operation in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, while the other case involves a pullet operation in New Castle County, Delaware. Both cases have been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory, according to the press release.
This marks the second case of HPAI in New Castle County, with the first case being a commercial layer flock of 1,146,937 birds. No cases have been reported in poultry in any other counties in Delaware.
Maryland has also had one previous HPAI case. That case involved a commercial layer operation in Cecil County. There were 664,061 birds in the Cecil County flock.
State officials have quarantined all affected premises, and birds on the properties are being or have been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
"While Delmarva's chicken community has worked hard to prevent avian influenza from affecting their flocks and was able to keep the 2015 U.S. HPAI outbreak from impacting us, the ease with which this disease can spread from bird to bird means HPAI poses a significant risk to broiler chickens," Holly Porter, executive director of the Delmarva Chicken Association stated. "Delmarva Chicken Association and the chicken industry is working closely with USDA and state authorities as they quarantine, depopulate, disinfect and test these affected farms. These chickens will not enter the food system, and properly cooked chicken remains completely safe to eat."
To date, HPAI has been confirmed in commercial poultry in seven states: Iowa, Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and South Dakota.
View our continuing coverage of the global avian influenza situation.