Idaho confirms AI in wild ducks

by Erica Shaffer
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BOISE – State and federal agriculture officials confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza in wild birds and a backyard poultry flock, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) reported.

Heightened disease surveillance of wild waterfowl in common migratory regions of Idaho uncovered the problem in Gooding County, Idaho, where several cases of H5N8 were identified in wild ducks. Three falcons from a private, non-commercial flock in Canyon County, Idaho, tested positive for the H5N2 strain. ISDA said the flock is under quarantine and additional viral testing is underway on the remaining birds. Additionally, chickens in a small backyard poultry flock in Canyon County tested positive for H5N2. The flock was quarantined and later culled.

“Both the H5N8 and H5N2 strains of HPAI confirmed in Idaho have previously been identified in incidents in backyard domestic poultry and wild fowl in other northwestern states,” said Dr. Bill Barton, ISDA State Veterinarian. “It is critical that backyard flock owners and poultry producers take every opportunity to prevent contact between domestic birds and the wild waterfowl that carry the avian influenza virus.”

ISDA said no human illnesses have been associated with H5N8 or H5N2 avian influenza anywhere in the world, to date. The virus also has not been found in commercial poultry flocks anywhere in the United States.
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