Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza has reached a backyard chicken and duck flock in Leavenworth County, Kansas, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed on March 13. This is the first finding of H5N2 in the Central flyway.
Samples from the flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. APHIS is working closely with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to respond to the finding. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.
USDA will be informing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this avian influenza finding. USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts. OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern.