As the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) during the spring and summer was the largest animal health emergency in US history, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it continues to prepare for any potential findings of the virus.
In collaboration with its partners, USDA is working to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations. As part of the wild bird surveillance effort, APHIS and its wildlife agency partners will be sampling more than 40,000 wild birds between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016—with more than 24,000 samples already tested.
During this surveillance, Eurasian H5 avian influenza was found in genetic material collected from a wild duck, but USDA says testing was unable to determine the exact strain of the viruses or whether they were high pathogenic or low pathogenic. This virus was found in a wild, hunter-harvested mallard duck in Morrow County, Oregon in November. No HPAI has been identified in any commercial or backyard poultry since June 17.
On November 18, USDA reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that all cases of HPAI in commercial poultry have been resolved and that the US is free of HPAI.