USDA is actively tracking and reporting on the continued spread of highly pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza virus in backyard flocks, commercial flocks and wild birds throughout the United States.

Laboratory results are reported on USDA’s website, including the following tests performed on backyard and commercial flocks:!ut/p/a1/vZLBcoIwEIafxiMmBRRyRG0FR3RaZ6rkkgkYIC0kGKLWt29QD1607aW5bXaz___tBmCwAVjQAy-o5lLQqovxkMyWof00gnY0XaFnGC3eX2J_7jnL0AVrgAHOhG50CRLalLwlmRSaCU0qniqqTj3YUiL3iuQy27fniApe04qUjFa6vL3Z8pbRlhEucqnqs4lL-sCpuNZ3gk3GtyBBWZ4j5HgWSwfIcrc-s1LIUovZqcsGzpCiQWYIEkMA75wA_grQlIynQeh6c_PG9W0YTUbhxEMxhNHwWvBAIjEevLsiyAWrP0LNfnJtqG0Vj-PCtKW6tLqBgs3DQV_St4M2TfjHbocDs-Fup18abP5nxYavqGRqPuB6AvCbrHrQfe38BCJ1fAOlWM4UU_1StsbU8XjsF1IWFetnsgZNXfvOyfrMFwsLJ772T_PgG1Nl4HM!/?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_animal_disease_information%2Fsa_avian_health%2Fct_ai_pacific_flyway

Official actions, including import embargoes, have been quickly enacted by several countries, as reported on Bloomberg news:

China halted U.S. poultry imports in January, while Mexico, the European Union and other trade partners have stopped buying the meat from Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas, where outbreaks of the disease have been reported. Tyson Foods Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. are reinforcing precautions.

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo









USDA reports that it

is coordinating closely with its partners, including Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington State officials, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on avian influenza surveillance, reporting, and control efforts.  The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, where we actively look for the disease and provide 100% compensation to affected producers to encourage reporting.

Individual states are also adopting emergency rules to protect state’s flocks from exposure to infected birds.

Dr. Robert Cobb, Georgia’s state veterinarian, issued a press release announcing measures to protect the state’s considerable poultry industry:

All Poultry wishing to enter Georgia from states that have a confirmed positive AI should contact the Georgia State Veterinarians office, 404-656-3671, to request a permit prior to entering Georgia. Poultry within the affected State’s 10 Kilometer Control Zone(s) will not be permitted into Georgia until all requirements listed in the rule have been met. It is Georgia’s intent to insure the safety of our Poultry Industry and to continue commerce in a safe and prudent manner. There have been additional positive AI flocks identified since this was written.

In other states, like Ohio, official recommendations rather than embargoes have been announced.  Ohio state veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey recommended that poultry owners:

  • Monitor their birds for unusual signs of illness, such as “snicking” (sneezing), a notable decrease in egg production, wheezing, lethargy, and depression.
  • Keep unauthorized visitors away from their birds and to wear protective clothing and shoes when entering a poultry house.
  • Make sure their poultry stays away from wild birds.
  • Clean and disinfect farm vehicles and equipment before moving them on or off their property.

Until the warmer weather, when the end to the current spread of virus in the U.S. is expected, there will undoubtedly be more official controls from other states and countries attempting to protect their respective flocks from infection.