A commercial layer flock in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, has been infected with avian influenza, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed on April 13. This is Wisconsin’s first confirmed case of avian influenza, and the first infection of a commercial layer flock in the U.S.
The flock of 200,000 chickens is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of H5N2 avian influenza has previously been identified, mostly impacting commercial turkey flocks. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Samples from the chicken flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Missouri Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized AI reference laboratory in the United States. APHIS is working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on a joint incident response.
State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.
With avian influenza’s entry into Wisconsin, 15 states have had confirmed cases of the virus. Other states affected include Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas. The Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario have also had confirmed avian influenza cases.