The highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak (HPAI) has spread into red fox kits in four U.S. states – each of which are states where the virus has been confirmed in commercial poultry flocks.

According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) most of these cases occurred in wildlife rehabilitation centers, with the first one being reported in mid-April.

The cases were confirmed at the following locations:

  • Rock County, Wisconsin
  • Waushaura County, Wisconsin
  • Jefferson County, Wisconsin
  • Lapeer County, Michigan
  • Hancock County, Iowa
  • St. Clair County, Michigan
  • Anoka County, Minnesota
  • Dane County, Wisconsin

In the Jefferson County and Macomb County cases, two animals were affected by the virus, but only one died. In all other cases, there was only one animal affected, and all of those foxes died.

The OIE report stated that the cases in Rock, Waushaura, Jefferson, Macomb, Lapeer, St. Clair and Dane counties, but the cases in Hancock and Anoka counties were in unspecified locations.

The strain found in these animals was a Eurasian strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.

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It was earlier announced that HPAI had also been confirmed in two red fox kits in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada. The same strain of the virus was found in the foxes in both countries, the OIE stated.

In accordance with OIE standards, the detection of HPAI in backyard flocks, wild birds and wildlife should not have any impact on international poultry trade.

So far in 2022, HPAI has been confirmed in commercial poultry flocks in Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Utah. The virus has also been found in commercial game bird operations in Texas, New York and South Dakota.

HPAI has been confirmed in all of Canada’s provinces, but it has not affected commercial poultry in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick.

To learn more about HPAI cases in North American commercial poultry flocks, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.