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US: Low path avian influenza strain found in Va. county

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  • US: Low path avian influenza strain found in Va. county

    USDA Confirms Mild Strain of Avian Flu in Va.
    July 17, 2007 - 8:23am
    HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) - Federal officials have confirmed that the avian flu antibodies found in a turkey flock at a Shenandoah County farm is a mild strain.

    The tests were done performed at a national laboratory in Iowa.

    The official announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is based on the latest tests, done over the weekend. The antibodies turned up in routine tests done on 54,000 turkeys at an unidentified farm. The turkeys were destroyed under stringent guidelines.

    The discovery earlier this month prompted state agriculture officials to cancel all live poultry shows and sales this month. West Virginia officials also placed restrictions on live poultry in their state. In addition, Virginia banned the application of poultry litter in 17 counties.

    The bans are scheduled to end July 30.

    Elaine Lidholm with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the bans will continue but may not be extended.

    Information from: Daily News-Record

    (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) - Federal officials have confirmed that the avian flu antibodies found in a turkey flock at a Shenandoah County farm is a mild strain.

    The tests were done performed at a national laboratory in Iowa.

    The official announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is based on the latest tests, done over the weekend. The antibodies turned up in routine tests done on 54,000 turkeys at an unidentified farm. The turkeys were destroyed under stringent guidelines.

    The discovery earlier this month prompted state agriculture officials to cancel all live poultry shows and sales this month. West Virginia officials also placed restrictions on live poultry in their state. In addition, Virginia banned the application of poultry litter in 17 counties.

    The bans are scheduled to end July 30.

    Elaine Lidholm with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the bans will continue but may not be extended.

    Information from: Daily News-Record

  • #2
    Re: USDA Confirms Mild Strain of Avian Flu in Va.

    Interesting announcement.

    No press release noted at the USDA website, no update of their LPAI table showing the VA detection, and no report submitted to OIE.

    I guess since no live virus was found and the turkeys were still up and walking straight, this is not really news worthy enough for more rigorous reporting to both other authorities and the public.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: USDA Confirms Mild Strain of Avian Flu in Va.

      and no report submitted to OIE.
      I could be wrong, but I understood that the US is not required to report anything to OIE.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: USDA Confirms Mild Strain of Avian Flu in Va.

        Originally posted by Commonground View Post
        I could be wrong, but I understood that the US is not required to report anything to OIE.
        According to the USDA's own Fact Sheet related to HPAI:

        "In the past, there was no requirement for reporting or tracking LPAI H5 or H7 detections in wild birds so states and universities tested wild bird samples independently of USDA. Because of this, the above list of previous detections might not be all inclusive of past LPAI H5N1 detections. However, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recently changed its requirement of reporting detections of avian influenza. Effective in 2006, all confirmed LPAI H5 and H7 AI subtypes must be reported to the OIE because of their potential to mutate into highly pathogenic strains. Therefore, USDA now tracks these detections in wild birds, backyard flocks, commercial flocks and live bird markets."

        http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p...VIAN_INFLUENZA

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        • #5
          US: Low path avian influenza strain found in Va. county

          Low path avian influenza strain found in Va. county

          7.24.2007

          By STEPHANIE JORDAN
          Staff Reporter

          SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. — A low pathogenic form of the avian influenza virus (H5N1) was confirmed to have been found at a Shenandoah County turkey farm near Mount Jackson in Virginia by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
          Initial screening results that were announced on July 11 had found virus antibodies in the routine pre-slaughter samples, but the virus was not isolated at that time. There was no signs of illness or death in the birds.
          Samples were sent to the USDA laboratory for official confirmation.
          Officials have completed depopulation of all 54,000 turkeys, and the composting is going well, said Elaine Lidholm, director of the Office of Communication and Promotion at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). As of last Wednesday, internal temperatures were between 105 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, so the compost is heating up quickly.
          Surveillance is still being conducted within the area surrounding the infected area.
          So far, 16,793 AGID (Agar gel Immunodiffusion) tests have been performed, as well as 981 Flu Detect Tests and 352 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests. AGID tests detect antibodies to specific disease agents, and PCR testing can detect evidence of the actual disease agent. Each has been negative for the virus so far.
          “This has been a real exercise in cooperation among state, federal and local officials and the poultry industry in Virginia,” said Robert Bloxom, secretary of agriculture and forestry of VDACS. “These groups have worked with a common goal in mind — containing and eradicating avian influenza — and they have blurred the lines between this county and that, this agency or that one. They are of one mind, and I think that has been responsible in large part for the success of the operation so far.”
          Virginia State Veterinarian Richard Wilkes cancelled all public sales, shows and exhibitions of live poultry throughout Virginia. The prohibition against shows and sales is effective statewide and remains in effect until July 30.
          Poultry litter movement was stopped in 17 counties until last Thursday, when Wilkes lifted the ban. Litter from farms within a two-mile radius of the infected flock are still under restriction.
          “I am very pleased that with all of our surveillance and additional testing, we have not yet found another positive flock of commercial birds, and so far, no positive backyard flocks,” Wilkes said. “I think that shows the system is working and that we are able to respond quickly and responsibly to the presence of the disease and to contain it, hopefully in this case to a single farm.”
          The state has been following its Prevention and Rapid Response to Low Pathogenic (H5 and H7) Avian Influenza, which is designed for a quick response if a flock tests positive for antibodies or the virus.
          The plan gives the state a framework for response by establishing testing protocols, listing who must be notified in the event of positive lab results, giving guidelines for depopulation and disposal and providing guidance for people involved in response activities to protect them from the risk of infection.
          Following the avian influenza outbreak in Rockingham, Shenandoah, Augusta, Page, Greene and Highland counties in 2002, the plan was developed by the Poultry Disease Task Force.
          Other states are keeping a close eye on what happens in Virginia. West Virginia suspended all poultry shows and sales for 30 days on July 9, and surrounding states continue to monitor for the disease.
          “We are monitoring closely, but have not decided to change our regular procedures,” said Sue duPont, director of communications at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. “We do have strong biosecurity and prevention measures in place already, and our state vet has determined at this time that the risk to Maryland poultry is low.”
          USDA estimates that the discovery of avian influenza on the turkey farm could result in $600,000 loss. USDA will reimburse the farmer the fair market value of the 54,000 turkeys that were destroyed, and the cost of destroying and disposing of the birds will be paid as well.
          The low pathogenic H5N1 virus was most recently found in wild birds in October 2006.

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