Yet another outbreak of avian influenza is confirmed in Wisconsin.
H5 avian influenza has been detected in an 800,000 bird egg-laying chicken flock in Jefferson County, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). This makes five cases of this type of avian flu in Wisconsin. We just learned this morning the H5 avian influenza has been detected in an 87,000 bird turkey flock in Chippewa County.
While lethal to domestic poultry, the strain of virus detected is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health or the food supply. Even so, the poultry will not enter the human food supply.
The properties in Jefferson and Chippewa Counties were immediately quarantined and the birds will be destroyed. Neighboring properties with poultry will be notified about the situation.
The H5 avian influenza virus was first detected in Wisconsin at a commercial chicken flock in Jefferson County on Monday, April 13, which led to the depopulation of more than 180,000 egg-laying chickens. Since then three additional flocks were detected in Barron, Juneau and Chippewa counties bringing the total of birds destroyed to nearly 400,000 in Wisconsin. Multiple outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred most recently in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, the Dakotas and Kansas. More than 1 million turkeys and chickens have been killed since January.
Wisconsin state veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw already issued a ban on poultry movement to shows, exhibitions and swap meets in Jefferson, Juneau and Barron counties. Chippewa county was added to the ban this morning.
Officials at DATCP remind everyone that the avian influenza virus strain currently detected in Wisconsin and the other states presents low risk to public health. Poultry meat and egg products in the marketplace remain safe to eat. Though, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.