2015 United States H5N2 outbreak

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In 2015, an outbreak of avian influenza subtype H5N2 was identified in a series of chicken and turkey farming operations in the Midwestern region of the United States. As of May 30, more than 43 million birds in 15 states had been destroyed as a result of the outbreak, including nearly 30 million in Iowa alone, the nation's largest egg producer. In the Midwestern U.S., the average price of eggs had increased 120% between April 22 and May 30. The effects however were seen nationwide, with prices in California up 71% in the same timeframe.[1]

The virus was first identified in Minnesota in early March. Prior to April 20, it affected commercial turkey farms almost exclusively, in the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and at 28 farms in Minnesota, where the virus was initially identified.

Migratory waterfowl are assumed to have brought the disease to the Midwest, but how it made its way into poultry barns is undetermined.[2] No human cases have been reported, and human infection is almost impossible.

Spread to hen farms[edit]

On Monday, April 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that 5.3 million egg-producing hens at a northwest Iowa farm must be destroyed after the virus was confirmed. The number at this operation alone comprised a little over 1% of egg-laying hens in the United States.[3] This infection would be the first in a series at large hen operations in Iowa, Nebraska, and other states.

As of May 27, over 25 million chickens had either died of the infection or been euthanized in Iowa alone.[4] Nebraska's toll at the same date was 7 million—a majority of the state's 9.45 million egg-laying hens.[5]

Table of infections[edit]

A map of all poultry killed by the 2015 H5N2 virus or culled to contain the outbreak.

This table shows large bird farm infections during the 2015 outbreak. All birds affected either died of the H5N2 infection itself, or were destroyed as a precautionary measure. While 205 total infections were confirmed through June 1, only larger outbreaks (affecting >200,000 hens or >50,000 turkeys) are displayed here.

Date detected Location Birds affected Type Source
March 27 Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota 66,000 Turkeys [6]
April 1 Beadle County, South Dakota 50,600 Turkeys [6]
April 2 Stearns County, Minnesota 71,000 Turkeys [6]
April 4 Stearns County, Minnesota 76,000 Turkeys [6]
April 7 Meeker County, Minnesota 310,000 Turkeys [6]
April 8 Kingsbury County, South Dakota 71,900 Turkeys [6]
April 9 Lyon County, Minnesota 66,000 Turkeys [6]
April 10 McPherson County, South Dakota 55,200 Turkeys [6]
April 10 McCook County, South Dakota 54,700 Turkeys [6]
April 11 Jefferson County, Wisconsin 189,100 Chickens [6]
April 13 Swift County, Minnesota 160,000 Turkeys [6]
April 13 Stearns County, Minnesota 76,000 Turkeys [6]
April 14 Swift County, Minnesota 154,000 Turkeys [6]
April 14 Redwood County, Minnesota 56,000 Turkeys [6]
April 15 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 152,000 Turkeys [6]
April 15 Stearns County, Minnesota 67,000 Turkeys [6]
April 15 Roberts County, South Dakota 66,600 Turkeys [6]
April 16 Barron County, Wisconsin 126,700 Turkeys [6]
April 20 Osceola County, Iowa 3,800,000[a] Chickens [3]
April 20 Wadena County, Minnesota 301,000 Turkeys [6]
April 20 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 61,000 Turkeys [6]
April 21 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 130,400 Turkeys [6]
April 21 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 61,000 Turkeys [6]
April 21 Stearns County, Minnesota 53,900 Turkeys [6]
April 22 Stearns County, Minnesota 72,500 Turkeys [6]
April 22 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 62,600 Turkeys [6]
April 22 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 62,600 Turkeys [6]
April 22 Meeker County, Minnesota 58,900 Turkeys [6]
April 23 Clay County, Minnesota 408,500 Chickens [6]
April 23 Chippewa County, Wisconsin 56,500 Turkeys [6]
April 23 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 54,300 Turkeys [6]
April 24 Jefferson County, Wisconsin 1,031,000 Chickens [6]
April 24 LaMoure County, North Dakota 71,500 Mixed poultry [6]
April 24 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 67,000 Turkeys [6]
April 24 Chippewa County, Minnesota 64,900 Turkeys [6]
April 27 Sioux County, Iowa 1,603,900 Chickens [8]
April 27 Barron County, Wisconsin 83,300 Turkeys [6]
April 28 Sioux County, Iowa 3,660,000 Chickens [9]
April 28 Osceola County, Iowa 258,000 Chickens [9]
April 28 Steele County, Minnesota 82,900 Turkeys [6]
April 28 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 50,900 Turkeys [6]
April 29 Stearns County, Minnesota 202,500 Chickens [6]
April 30 Buena Vista County, Iowa 449,100 Turkeys [6]
April 30 Barron County, Minnesota 96,500 Turkeys [6]
May 1 Buena Vista County, Iowa 4,910,600 Chickens [6]
May 4 Madison County, Iowa 1,495,600 Chickens [6]
May 5 Wright County, Iowa 2,821,800 Chickens [6]
May 5 Nicollet County, Minnesota 1,102,900 Chickens [6]
May 5 Barron County, Wisconsin 182,400 Turkeys [6]
May 5 Swift County, Minnesota 151,300 Turkeys [6]
May 5 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 89,100 Turkeys [6]
May 5 Pipestone County, Minnesota 72,200 Turkeys [6]
May 5 Barron County, Wisconsin 57,200 Turkeys [6]
May 6 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 65,000 Turkeys [6]
May 7 Sioux County, Iowa 309,900 Chickens [6]
May 7 Osceola County, Iowa 256,000 Chickens [6]
May 7 Buena Vista County, Iowa 52,900 Turkeys [6]
May 8 Wright County, Iowa 1,106,500 Chickens [6]
May 8 Sioux County, Iowa 581,300 Chickens [10]
May 8 Sioux County, Iowa 327,900 Chickens [6]
May 8 Sioux County, Iowa 303,100 Chickens [6]
May 11 Swift County, Minnesota 65,600 Turkeys [6]
May 12 Dixon County, Nebraska 1,791,500 Chickens [11]
May 12 Wright County, Iowa 966,600 Chickens [6]
May 13 Hutchinson County, South Dakota 70,600 Turkeys [6]
May 13 Yankton County, South Dakota 70,600 Turkeys [6]
May 14 Lyon County, Iowa 390,000 Chickens [6]
May 15 Dixon County, Nebraska 1,709,400 Chickens [12]
May 15 Buena Vista County, Iowa 903,700 Chickens [13]
May 15 Sioux County, Iowa 272,300 Chickens [13]
May 15 Sioux County, Iowa 240,000 Chickens [13]
May 18 Moody County, South Dakota 642,700[b] Chickens [6]
May 18 Meeker County, Minnesota 138,800 Turkeys [6]
May 19 Renville County, Minnesota 2,045,600 Chickens [15]
May 20 Sioux County, Iowa 240,000 Chickens [6]
May 21 Sac County, Iowa 100,000 Turkeys [6]
May 26 Dixon County, Nebraska 293,200[c] Chickens [6]
May 27 Knox County, Nebraska 3,000,000 Chickens [5]
May 27 Adair County, Iowa 974,500 Chickens [6]
May 27 Renville County, Minnesota 95,300 Turkeys [6]
May 28 Wright County, Iowa 991,500 Chickens [6]
May 28 Kandiyohi County, Minnesota 50,800 Turkeys [6]
June 1 Wright County, Iowa 434,800 Chickens [6]
June 1 Moody County, South Dakota 52,000 Turkeys [6]
  1. ^ Initially reported as 5.3 million birds; APHIS confirmation count was adjusted.[7]
  2. ^ Originally reported as 1.3 million birds; APHIS confirmation count was adjusted.[14]
  3. ^ Originally reported as 500,000 birds; APHIS confirmation count was adjusted.[16]

Control[edit]

When an infection is confirmed, all birds at the affected farm are destroyed per USDA guidelines. The birds are culled by pumping an expanding water-based foam into the barn houses, which suffocates them within minutes. The birds are then composted, usually at the location.[3][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Samantha Masunaga (30 May 2015). "Avian influenza epidemic spurs nationwide rise in egg prices". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ Robert Roos (12 May 2015). "Egg farm hit in Nebraska's first H5N2 event". Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (University of Minnesota). Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Up to 5.3 million chickens to be destroyed after bird flu confirmed at Iowa farm". Omaha World Herald. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ Dave Dreeszen (27 May 2015). "Truckloads of dead birds headed to landfills". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 1 June 2015. More than 25 million commercial laying hens and pullets in Iowa have been killed by the H5N2 virus or euthanized to prevent the disease from spreading further. One million turkeys also have been destroyed since the first case was confirmed in early April.
  5. ^ a b Richard Piersol (27 May 2015). "3 million hens to be destroyed on Knox County egg farm". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 1 June 2014. That makes 7 million birds that have been or will be destroyed in Nebraska since bird flu became epidemic in the upper Midwest
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt "Update on Avian Influenza Findings: Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories". United States Department of Agriculture / Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.[dead link]
  7. ^ Laura Nichols (21 April 2015). "Here's why killing 3.8M Iowa chickens gets national attention". KCCI News 8 (Des Moines). Retrieved 3 June 2015. The H5N2 virus is highly infectious and deadly, meaning up to 3.8 million hens must be destroyed at Sunrise Farms near Harris in Osceola County. An earlier estimate put the number at 5.3 million.
  8. ^ "USDA Confirms More Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Three Flocks in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin". APHIS. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b "USDA Confirms More Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in 11 Flocks in Minnesota and Iowa". APHIS. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  10. ^ "USDA Confirms More Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Five Flocks in Iowa". APHIS. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  11. ^ Cole Epley; David Hendee (12 May 2015). "USDA confirms bird flu in northeast Nebraska; flock of 1.7 million chickens to be killed". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  12. ^ Cole Epley (14 May 2015). "Nebraska officials confirm 2nd bird flu outbreak". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b c "USDA Confirms More Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza in Five Flocks in Iowa and Nebraska". APHIS. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  14. ^ Robert Roos (1 June 2015). "Avian flu hits four more turkey farms in Midwest". CIDRAP. Retrieved 2 June 2015. The previous outbreak, reported May 14, involved an egg farm with 1.3 million chickens.
  15. ^ Liz Sawyer (16 May 2015). "Renville chicken farm suffers Minnesota's worst bird-flu toll: A Renville operation must destroy 2 million chickens". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  16. ^ Cole Epley (23 May 2015). "Nebraska confirms its third case of bird flu". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  17. ^ Belinda Robinson (21 April 2015). "Iowa orders 5.3MILLION chickens destroyed as raging bird flu epidemic hits egg industry". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 June 2015.

External links[edit]