The year’s first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in the state of Washington, when a flock of 1,015,500 commercial egg layers was infected.
The case was confirmed on December 14 in Franklin County, reported the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
The operation reported high numbers of sudden death in its chickens in a single barn, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) stated in a press release. Other birds were lethargic and showing additional signs of illness; prompting an investigation by state and federal veterinarians.
The Washington Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) received samples the same day and reported ‘non-negative’ results late Friday afternoon. Samples were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), which confirmed the presence of the virus. State officials quarantined the affected premises to prevent the spread of disease. Rapid, humane, euthanasia of all birds on the premises is critical to contain the outbreak.
While this is the first case in a commercial flock for the state, WSDA reported that there were previously 36 cases in non-commercial operations.
The flock was infected at a time when British Columbia, Canada, which shares a border with Washington, has been reporting new HPAI cases on an almost daily basis.
British Columbia also has new case
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported a new case of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The flock size or type of birds involved was not disclosed.
Chilliwack has now had 15 cases of HPAI in commercial poultry in 2022, while British Columbia has had 66 cases. It has had more confirmed cases than any other province.
To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.
Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.