APHIS Social Media Toolkit – Biosecurity and High Path Avian Influenza

When it comes to disease threats, you are your flock’s best protection. Biosecurity – practiced carefully and regularly — is key to protecting backyard birds from infectious disease carried to and from farms, backyards or aviaries, by people, animals, equipment or vehicles.

Wild birds, particularly waterfowl like ducks and geese, can carry diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), among others. With spring migration underway, bird owners should be aware of the increased threats and take steps to limit spread of germs and disease by following good biosecurity practices at all times.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) “Biosecurity for Birds” campaign includes social media resources on biosecurity and practices. We hope you will take part in promoting biosecurity during migratory season by sharing these resources on your channels and with your readers. Here are a few ways you can help:

FOLLOW #Biosecurity

 

 

POST

 

Use or customize these sample Facebook posts to increase awareness of the importance of biosecurity practices during migratory season.

 

With migratory season underway, disease threat for bird owners is increased. It’s important to include

#biosecurity practices in your daily routine to protect your birds’ safety. We are the best protection our birds have. Learn how to practice good #biosecurity at: http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Spring migration is underway, which means ducks, geese and other birds traveling for the spring have the potential to spread disease. Keep your flock disease-free this spring by incorporating biosecurity basics into your daily routines! http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Keeping flocks healthy should be a top priority for all backyard bird owners. As part of good biosecurity, you should prevent contact between your birds and wild birds. Check out this video on keeping flocks healthy: http://bit.ly/1TKUUD1

Don’t be chicken! Aim to protect your flock by practicing #biosecurity. Disease can spread from exposure to wild animals, contaminated water and equipment and much more. Learn how you can keep your flock disease-free at: http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Birds are migrating! Did you know migration increases the possibility of disease and virus harming your flock? Protect your birds by taking preventative measures, like keeping them in a screened-in area. Here are tips you can use: http://bit.ly/2d24UI3

 

TWEET

 

Share the sample tweets on Twitter to get your followers involved with #biosecurity.

Spring migration is here. Keep birds disease-free by screening in their coop to prevent contact with wild animals http://1.usa.gov/1UrqXqC

Just 6 simple steps can keep your flock healthy during migratory season. Practicing #biosecurity prevents disease. http://1.usa.gov/1NQpx3W

#Biosecurity decreases risk of diseases with your flock, even during migratory season. Your flock counts on YOU! http://1.usa.gov/1QFtJrL

Migratory birds have potential to spread disease in US. #Biosecurity is crucial. Monitor 2017 fall patterns here: http://bit.ly/2dqHiz3

For poultry owners, #biosecurity can spell the difference between health and disease. Protect your flock this fall: http://bit.ly/2cQlgaG

#Biosecurity in migratory season is important because wild birds are likely to carry AI & other diseases. More here: http://bit.ly/2d24UI3

 

Full PDF with graphics ->Social Toolkit for APHIS-B4B Migratory Season (1)-1nacezp

 

High Path Avian Influenza Updates

High Path Avian Influenza has been in the news lately as outbreaks have occurred both in the United States and abroad.

 

Avian Influenza Update
Mohamed El-Gazzar, DVM, MAM, PhD, DACPV
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on March 5, 2017 the detection of H7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the state of Tennessee. The affected flock is a Broiler Breeder, 30 to 45 weeks of age, located on an 8 house farm (~10,000 birds in each house) in Lincoln County, located in South Central Tennessee, 2 miles from Alabama border. On Thursday March 2nd, mortality increased to 132 dead in one house. On Friday March 4th, mortality jumped up to 500. Positive samples from only one house out of 8 were determined to be H7 by Tennessee NAHLN and confirmed by National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) late Saturday. By Sunday March 6th afternoon, all houses had been depopulated and onsite burial operations were underway. A control zone of 10 miles (not 10 Kilometers) was immediately started and the initial surveillance of commercial and noncommercial poultry premises within this zone (which extends into the state of Alabama) is near completion. No further positive samples within the zone have been detected thus far.
On March 7th, USDA’s NVSL confirmed that the complete subtype of the Tennessee virus is H7N9 based on the full genome sequence of all 8 influenza genomic segments. They also emphasized that based on the sequence the virus is of North American (NA) lineage and “is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia”. As NVSL explains, while the Tennessee and China viruses have the same designated subtype, they belong to genetically distinct lineages. What is referred to as the North American lineage is the genetic lineage that can be found in migratory wild birds of North America. Wild birds are suspected to be the source of this outbreak as well. While there is no identified direct link between wild birds and this particular farm in Tennessee so far, the H7 NA lineage was detected in wild birds multiple times this year. We don’t know how this virus could have jumped from wild to domestic birds, but it is important to note that Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) can transform into HPAI after they circulate in domestic poultry.
On March 9th, the Tennessee State Veterinarian confirmed another H7N9 influenza case in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Giles County, Tennessee, which is the county immediately to the east of Lincoln County, where the initial H7N9 virus was detected. However, this case in Giles County is Low Pathogenic Influenza (LPAI). No mortality or clinical signs were reported and it was detected during a routing surveillance testing. On March 14th, Alabama announced investigation of 3 potential cases of H7 in Jackson, Lauderdale, and Madison counties in north Alabama, all low pathogenic, one in a commercial breeder and two in noncommercial flocks. Latter on March 16th a second case of H7 HPAI was confirmed in another broiler breeder flock just one mile away from the index case in Tennessee with high mortality. On March 18th a commercial breeder flock was confirmed to be H7 positive in Christian County, Kentucky with no clinical signs suggesting that it is low pathogenic. Then two more cases were confirmed in Pickens and Madison counties in Alabama on March 22nd. And finally on March 22nd a flock of commercial poultry in Cullman County has tested positive for H7 with no clinical signs.
All in all, we had two highly pathogenic H7 cases, both in Tennessee, 1 mile apart. Also, we had several low pathogenic H7 cases in commercial and noncommercial poultry in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky, in addition to one detection of H7 in wild birds in Kentucky. These findings highly suggest that we have a low pathogenic virus given the chance to circulate in domestic poultry until it was transformed into a highly pathogenic virus. This is similar to the Indiana H7 HPAI outbreak of last year.
Meanwhile, another reportable influenza virus was detected in a commercial turkey flock in the state of Wisconsin. A 6-house farm containing 84,000 market turkey toms with 3 houses at 16 weeks of age and 3 houses at 6 weeks of age was confirmed to be positive for H5N2 North American Lineage virus, which is different from the 2015 virus. This virus was classified as LPAI, mild signs of depression prompted the testing of the flock. But because it’s an H5 virus, and has the capacity to transform into a HPAI, it is reportable to international organizations. This flock will not be depopulated, it will be sent to the processing plant through a controlled marketing process. The flock will be tested using PCR weekly to ensure the cessation of viral shedding before they are moved to the processing plant.
For the second year in a row, an influenza virus was able to jump from wild birds to a commercial poultry population and turn into HPAI. In our view, this points to a significant weakness in our influenza surveillance systems. Our inability to detect these viruses while they are circulating in domestic poultry, allowing them to blindside us and showing as HPAI outbreaks, invites a revision to our surveillance methodology. A review of “Testing Protocols for Disease Surveillance in Poultry” was written last year (http://vet.osu.edu/sites/vet.osu.edu/files/documents/extension/Vol%2042%20No%205.pdf) detailing the decision making process as it relates to improving surveillance methodology.
FULL PRINTABLE UPDATE INCLUDING DETAILED BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS –> HPAI news updates 3-27-17-1r1h4ax

 

USDA Confirms Second Case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a Commercial Flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 03/16/2017 11:15 AM EDT

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee.  It is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia.  The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Expert: Bird flu outbreak nation’s worst since 2015

March 22, 2017 by Jay Reeves

A bird flu outbreak that has led officials to euthanize more than 200,000 animals in three Southern states already is the nation’s worst since 2015 and new cases are still popping up, an expert said Wednesday.

 Agriculture officials are trying to limit the damage, but it’s unclear whether quarantines, transportation bans and will stop the spread, said Joseph Hess, a science professor at Auburn University.

The disease was first confirmed in southern Tennessee earlier this month and has since been detected in northern Alabama and western Kentucky.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-expert-bird-flu-outbreak-nation.html#jCp

OSU Youth Poultry Workshop

NEW OPPORTUNITY! OSU YOUTH POULTRY WORKSHOP

An OSU Youth Poultry Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 22 at the OSU Columbus campus Animal Sciences Building. A link to the flyer is posted at www.poultry.osu.edu on the Calendar of Events page. The cost is $10.00 per person if postmarked by April 10, and $20.00 per person same-day registration. Participants will learn how to evaluate and select birds for meat and eggs, how to quality grade meat carcasses and eggs, basic handling and showmanship techniques, as well as prepare for the Ohio State Fair youth poultry events – judging contest, skillathon, and avian bowl.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PDF OF APPLICATION AND AGENDA

Avian Influenza and Biosecurity

Mohamed El-Gazzar, DVM, MAM, PhD, DACPV

Assistant Professor and Poultry Extension Veterinarian, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University

It has been a little bit over 2 years since the beginning of the largest Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in North America (NA). The virus that caused such outbreak was genetically identified to be a mix between North American and Eurasian Avian Influenza (AI) viruses. Wild migratory birds are thought to play a prominent role in bringing that virus to NA. While the last case of commercial poultry from that outbreak was reported in late spring of 2015, AI continues to be a threat to the poultry population (commercial and noncommercial) in NA. The clearest evidence of that threat materialized in another HPAI outbreak in January of 2016 that affected the commercial poultry industry. Different from 2015 outbreak, the 2016 outbreak evolved from a purely NA virus. It also seems that the Eurasian virus did not disappear from NA; as it has been isolated from wild mallard ducks in two different occasions from two different locations (Alaska, August and Montana, December) in 2016.

Click Here to Read the Full Article —>  HPAI and Biosecurity 1-20-17-22o8w7a

USDA Detects Eurasian lineage H5 Avian Influenza in a Wild Mallard Duck in Montana

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 01/09/2017 06:18 PM EST

 

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has detected the presence of Eurasian/North American reassortant H5N2 avian influenza in a wild mallard duck in Fergus County, Montana. No illness or mortalities in domestic poultry in the U.S. have been detected.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Associated with Live Poultry, United States, 1990–2014

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal,  Centers for Disease and Prevention, Volume 22-Number 10, October 2016

 

BACKGROUND:  Backyard poultry flocks have increased in popularity concurrent with an increase in live poultry–associated salmonellosis (LPAS) outbreaks. Better understanding of practices that contribute to this emerging public health issue is needed. Most chicks sold for backyard flocks are produced by a network of mail-order hatcheries. Disease control guidance for hatcheries is provided by the US Department of Agriculture National Poultry Improvement Plan, which is a voluntary state, federal, and industry cooperative program aimed at eliminating certain diseases from poultry breeding flocks and hatcheries.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Author credit:  Basler C, Nguyen T-A, Anderson TC, Hancock T, Barton Behravesh C. Outbreaks of human Salmonella infections associated with live poultry, United States, 1990–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Oct